Energy
AboutVisiting
Teachers
Energy info zone
Energy Energy today Energy futures energy action
   
Back  

Electric wonderland

 
By 2050 Iceland wants to become the first country in the world to stop using fossil fuels completely.

Everything, even cars, will run on electricity. And that electricity will only be made when it's needed - from hydrogen. Iceland will get hydrogen from water.

To split water into hydrogen and oxygen they will use electricity generated from hydroelectric power.

But hang on! Why use electricity to make hydrogen, and then use hydrogen to make electricity?

Because it's hard to store electricity unless you use big heavy batteries.

Hydrogen is easier to carry around. And a big vat of hydrogen can make more electricity than the world's best battery.

Hydrogen fuel cells are very important because they are a good back-up for renewable energy sources like wind and solar power - because you can't always guarantee that it will be windy or sunny when you most need electricity.

The big challenge is where to store all this hydrogen. As a gas it takes up loads of room, but it takes lots of energy to turn it into a liquid. And there are also safety concerns - hydrogen is very explosive.

Of course, if there's a new breakthrough in batteries that means they can store much more energy, then none of this may ever happen!


What is "Battery"?
 
What is "Hydrogen"?
 
What is "Oxygen"?
 
Fascinating fact
Fascinating fact

Hydrogen bus
Hydrogen bus

Fab fuel cells
Watch: Fab fuel cells

Hydrogen power
Watch: Hydrogen power