The inhabitants of Utsira, a small island off the southwest coast of Norway, are so pleased with their new wind and hydrogen power plant that they named one of their roads ‘Hydrogen Road’.
Wind Turbines on Utsira island
The island is pioneering a new way of storing surplus energy produced by wind turbines into hydrogen.
Winds are frequent and strong in this part of the North sea, but calm days do occur and problems arise when wind falls and the turbines stop producing electricity.
Hydrogen might be the key to this problem. Extra energy produced on windy days cannot be stored as such. But it can be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen can then be kept in reservoirs and injected into fuel cells to produce electricity as soon as the windmills stop turning.
This way no energy is lost and the population can get electricity even when there’s no wind.
The island hopes this pilot project will prove successful and make it independent from the main electricity grid.