iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðherra
Ávarp við opnun Vetnistöðvar
24. apríl 2003
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government of Iceland, it is a great honour and a pleasure for me to welcome you all here today, especially all our foreign guests, who have come a long way to participate in this event. I particularly want to welcome our foreign partners in this co-operation project, from Shell International, DaimlerChrysler, Norsk Hydro and the European Commission.
The opening of the first hydrogen refuelling station in Iceland and the first one built at a conventional petrol station in the world, is a major step towards a hydrogen society, and in coherence with the policy of the Government of Iceland on increased utilisation of renewable energy resources in harmony with the environment.
The Government's policy and priorities on hydrogen, are just one part of a long-term policy on increased utilisation of renewable energy resources in harmony with the environment. The establishment of the company Icelandic New Energy, by Icelandic partners and several international corporate leaders in the field of hydrogen fuel technology, has the full support of the Government.
Iceland is the only western country that produces all its electricity from renewable natural resources, and almost 90% of all heating is based on geothermal sources. Furthermore, 72% of the total gross energy usage in the country derive from renewable energy resources, which is the highest utilisation rate of renewable energy sources in the world. This success is a result of a long-term priorities on renewable energy in Iceland, as well as access to huge and sustainable energy resources in the form of non-polluting and emission-free hydro and geothermal power that. The utilisation of these renewable energy resources is also one of the driving forces behind the nation's increased prosperity over the past few decades, due to foreign investment.
The opening of this hydrogen refuelling station is a historical moment, and one important step towards hydrogen society in Iceland as well as on a global scale. Nothing happens without a dream, and we must have a dream for a better world, better utilisation of renewable energy resources in harmony with the environment – including sustainable hydrogen society. Without a, dreams and goals, research, and projects like this, there will be no progress and development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I especially wish to thank all the people from New Energy, as well as all its partners, from Shell, DamilerChrysler, Norsk Hydro and the European Commission, for their important support and unique role of this hydrogen project here in Iceland. In a project like this we see clearly how international co-operation is important in the world of increasing globalisation. The Government and Ministries can play an important supporting role in projects like this, for example of linking together various views and interests from stakeholders, and we will continue to fully support this project, because of its importance for the future.
May you all have fruitful results, and a pleasant stay here in Iceland - and I wish you all the best.