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Hilde Myrberg: Hydro is well equipped for a hydrogen future

November 7, 2002, 00:00 CET

"Hydro is well equipped to take part in the increased commitment to hydrogen indicated in the recently published gas announcement from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy," says Hilde Myrberg, president of Hydro Energy.

"Energy policy challenges and technological developments open up opportunities for increased consumption of hydrogen," Myrberg says, pointing out that in many areas of Hydro, hydrogen is part of every day life and has been for 75 years, particularly in connection with the company's ammonia production.

"We are well equipped to take part in the increased commitment to hydrogen indicated in the gas announcement from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, which states:

"The government will increase its commitment to hydrogen and pave the way for the establishment of a major national hydrogen program. This commitment will contribute to building up expertise for further development of hydrogen technologies in Norway and to gaining acceptance for hydrogen as a safe and environmentally friendly energy carrier."

"Hydro is also involved in a recently appointed "high level group" in the EU, which shall have an advisory role in questions on hydrogen and fuel cells," says Myrberg.

World leader in electrolysers

In additional to its domestic activities, Hydro also collaborates with several other players in the hydrogen sector through international projects.

"Hydro is the world leader in electrolysers for local production of hydrogen. Through the further development of electrolysers, which so far have mainly been used for industrial purposes, we have created the "gas stations of the future". During the course of the next half year we shall deliver filling stations for hydrogen as fuel for buses - both in Reykjavik and Hamburg.

"These cities are taking part in EU supported projects to test hydrogen as fuel. We have shown that we have both breadth and depth in our hydrogen activities," says Myrberg.

Hydro's hydrogen focus has increased in the last few years through an evaluation of market opportunities and political signals. The Utsira project, which was Hydro's initiative, is one example of a flexible energy supply project where hydrogen plays a key role.

"Hydro has expertise in gas and electricity that can be used for production of hydrogen, and we can supply natural gas once the market is ready for large scale hydrogen production," says Myrberg.

Major energy challenges

There are major global challenges for energy consumption, especially within the OECD, which has limited resources particularly with regard to oil and gas. Being able to secure energy resources from alternative sources is essential for economic development, while it is at the same time important to steer energy consumption so that global, regional and local emissions can be avoided.

The worldwide demand for primary energy is expected to have increased by around 66 percent in 2030, and the OECD recognizes that less and less of this energy will be produced in the OECD countries.

Hydrogen can be produced from several different sources, including renewable sources, and is therefore a good energy carrier for meeting the world's increased energy needs. Hydrogen is carbon free, and when used in fuel cells, water is the only emission.