Iceland is on the global warming forefront with glacial melting exceeding predictions. Because of the growing effects of global warming, Iceland has been moving toward abolishing all fossil fuels by 2040 with hydrogen playing a large part in the energy shift.
In many respects the melting glaciers have had positive effects on Iceland. Iceland’s innovations and use of renewable energy like geothermal warming and hydrogen have been sought out and studied by other countries bringing prosperity with it.
For example, while auto manufacturers are pushing hybrid and electric vehicles in the United States, they will be making hydrogen vehicles for Iceland. Seven well known automakers ((1) Daimler AG; (2) Ford Motor Company; (3) General Motors Corporation; (4) Honda Motor Co.; (5) Hyundai Motor Company/KIA; (6) The Alliance Renault S A/ Nissan Motor Co.; and (7) Toyota Motor Corporation) signed a letter of understanding in September of this year. Under that agreement the companies will be “producing approximately a few hundred thousand units on a worldwide basis no later than 2015, possibly sooner.”
Two hydrogen refueling stations exist in Reykajvik as Icelandic New Energy (INE) continues its investment and research into creating the infrastructure for the use of hydrogen in all forms of transportation from cars to ships.
INE with European Union backing was instrumental in the creation, on a small scale, of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure and hydrogen bus pilot project which exceeded expectation. The Elding, a 125 ton whale watching ship was fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell to run its two 50kW generators. A recent study by Birna Guttormsdottir calculated that using hydrogen to fuel Icelandic fishing boats would reduce the carbon footprint from fishing by 75 percent to 85 percent, a savings that INE would like to create.
Iceland is on the forefront of European research into the use of hydrogen as a major fuel source and is working hard towards that 2040 deadline.