Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be produced from a number of different sources, and it does not produce emissions other than water and heat when it is combusted. As long as "green" energy is used for the production of hydrogen, the use of hydrogen for transport or the production of electricity does not entail any pollution or emission of greenhouse gases.
Hydrogen can be produced in different ways, for example by electrolysis. By using renewable energy such as wind power for the electrolysis process, hydrogen will be a "green" energy carrier. Hydrogen can also be recovered from organic waste. Vardar is cooperating with Lindum Ressurs og Gjenvinning to produce hydrogen from "garbage". Hydrogen produced in Drammen will soon be available for use as fuel for cars. This will be an important step in completing the HyNor project; the hydrogen road from Oslo to Stavanger.
A fuel cell is a unit that produces electrical energy from a fuel through an electrochemical process. When hydrogen is used as fuel, the unit is referred to as a hydrogen cell, and as long as the hydrogen used is produced in a "green" manner, the hydrogen cell is completely pollution-free.
Vardar is cooperating with the Tallin University of Technology to develop technology for exploiting fuel cells for the supply of power. Such a solution can contribute to balancing the power system, so that a wind farm can deliver electric power from fuel cells when there is no wind.
Fuel cells can also be used as fuel for cars. We believe that hydrogen can eventually become an environmentally friendly alternative to petrol and diesel in cars, buses and lorries.
Bioenergy is energy that is produced from material derived from ongoing biological processes, such as wood chips, logging waste, straw, etc. Biological waste (garbage) can also be used to produce bioenergy.
Small-scale production of heat and electricity
Vardar is participating in a research programme together with other Norwegian power companies and SINTEF to develop more small power stations based on biofuel for the production of electricity and heat. A possible solution is to use a plant based on the Stirling engine, which is driven by gas from gasified biomass (wood chips or similar). The plant will deliver electric power and heat that can be used in a district heating plant.
The Stirling engine is an old invention (almost two hundred years), but it has not been used very much. As opposed to a normal combustion engine (petrol/diesel), the Stirling engine can make use of low value fuel, which makes it well-suited for use in biofuel plants.