Wednesday, July 15, 2009

iceland's hydrogen bus stop

Last year I wrote a piece called Hydrogen: Not The Vehicle Fuel of The Future.

Amongst the things I mentioned was the way that Shell had touted its hydrogen powered buses in Iceland as some sort of pilot scheme for the rest of the world. I gave reasons why Shell were - undoubtedly knowingly - wrong.

Iceland is not only peculiar because it is sat on more renewable energy than it can use (a few huge hydroelectric plants and a hell of a lot of geothermal energy); it is also little more than a city state. It has a population the size of Bradford and two-thirds of them live in one city. So all you need is three or four filling stations and you’re covered. That simply cannot be scaled up to the UK, or anywhere else. The rest of us need a different solution.

There's a punchline to it. According to a recent New Scientist article

A trial of three hydrogen-powered buses ended in 2007, when two were scrapped and the third was consigned to a transport museum.

1 comment:

John B said...

Interesting. I wonder why it failed - as you say, Iceland's one of the few places (no oil, infinite electricity, very expensive to transport things into the country) where it might've been expected to work.