Iceland on the road to sustainable transport

On March 30, the "Multi-fuel future" seminar took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, with the purpose of sharing experiences and taking stock of the initiated efforts for a future green and sustainable Icelandic transport system.

Organised by the Icelandic companies, New Energy an Skeljungur, the seminar gathered an eclectic panel of key players with an all-sided industry representatives including car manufacturers such as Toyota and Hyundai, and the Mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson.

FCH JU Executive Director, Bart Biebuyck, attended the seminar as well, stating that  “The exemplary use of renewable sources in its electricity infrastructure puts Iceland in the perfect position to develop a sustainable transport system based on green hydrogen”.

The gathering was also the occasion to showcase the increasing engagement from all parties to enable and facilitate the necessary transition. For example, Icelandic oil company Skeljungur, also operating on behalf of Shell in Iceland, stressed its commitment to environment preservation and stated its intention to accommodate alternative fuels on its traditional petrol stations.

Advancing with fuel cells and hydrogen

Three stations in the Reykjavik region will be supplying hydrogen through equipment contracted from Norwegian company NEL Energy, who will also provide a central hydrogen production plant, as announced earlier this year. One of these stations and the production unit are foreseen in FCH JU project H2ME-2. The hydrogen will be produced through water electrolysis, using renewable electricity from Iceland’s hydroelectric power plants.

The project also foresees the deployment of 10 hydrogen fuel cell cars including the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell (known as Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell in North America).

This is a first step to turning Iceland, already an exemplary player in exploiting its generous in-house energy sources (hydro and geothermal) for its electricity and heating needs into a good player also on the transport front. The target is to have 40% of transport energy needs sourced through renewables by 2030.

With over 200 000 inhabitants out of ca. 300 000 in Iceland in the Reykjavik region, the building of 3 stations in this area should provide easy access to a considerable share of the population and has the potential to turn Iceland into a model island in terms of overall energy management.

The city of Reykjavik is a signatory of the FCH JU regions initiative and intends to become completely carbon neutral by 2040, according to its mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson.

Other speakers in the seminar included Valgeir Baldursson, CEO of Skeljungur, Lisa Ruf, Element Energy and coordinator for the H2ME project co-financed by the FCH JU, Ingvi Már Pálsson, Director General in the Ministry of Industries and Innovation, Jakob Krogsgaard Senior Vice President of NEL Hydrogen, Kristinn G. Bjarnason, Head of marketing and sales of Toyota in Iceland and Frank Meijer from Hyundai Motor Europe. The seminar was organized by Berglind Rán Ólafsdóttir, a board member at Icelandic NewEnergy.

Discover FCH JU project H2ME and H2ME2