Friday, 7 August 2009

Fuelling a Community

This week I am visiting Stornoway, on the Island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Air Products will soon be providing a dedicated hydrogen fuelling station and storage facilities for the Islands’ hydrogen-powered cars as part of the Comhairle’s Hebridean Hydrogen Seed (H2seed) project. The hydrogen fuelled vehicles will be used as pool vehicles for employees of the Comhairle, as well as for educational and public awareness campaigns. How amazing is that - a whole fleet of cars on the island being fuelled by hydrogen!

The H2seed project is phase 2 of the Comhairle’s Hebridean Hydrogen Park plan. H2seed is establishing a renewably generated hydrogen supply chain in the Outer Hebrides, providing technology demonstration projects, delivering appropriate safety training to users and emergency services, and undertaking public awareness activities.

I was able to speak to Ruairi MacIver, Project Manager, H2seed project and he told me how delighted he was that Air Products accepted the partnership with the H2seed project all those months ago, he said: "it will give us access to the world’s leading technology in hydrogen storage, dispensing and training. We are proud to be taking the lead in developing renewable hydrogen production and distribution technology; and hopefully we will be setting an example that will be followed across the world.” Can you imagine that? Seeing other communities, places where you live surviving off hydrogen as a fuel and we were able to see it happen here first!

This is an excellent example of how hydrogen really can fuel the future not just in the case of cars but whole communities. Can you imagine everything in your home being run from hydrogen much in the same way as it is run by electricity now? Rather than having electricity fuel our homes we could have a sustainable energy source which isn't as harmful to our environment. That really is a benefit we can't ignore.