Slovenia, a small country just east of Italy and south of Austria has committed itself to developing hydrogen cars and a hydrogen-based economy. According to Jure Leben, Head of Slovenian Government Group for Hydrogen, global warming and peak oil are two of the main factors in Slovenia’s decision to pursue hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.
One example that Leben gives about the negative impacts of global warming is the Glacier Muir from 1976 to 2003, which went from ice to rock in just this short timeframe. Leben also advocates for using renewable alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and hydropower to generate hydrogen gas.
According to Leben the price of hydrogen gas can be comparable to gasoline as long as hydrogen remains untaxed. And he recommends no taxes be applied to hydrogen fuel until at least the year 2050.
By 2013 Slovenia is committed to building 300 hydrogen vehicles and 12 refueling stations around the country. The hydrogen for the cars and buses will currently come from a large company that is simply burning the H2 gas as industrial waste. Now measures are in place to capture the hydrogen, clean it and sell it for the transportation industry.
Just today, two research institutes and five companies have announced collaboration in founding the Development Centre for Hydrogen Technologies in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In just a couple of year’s time, Slovenia will be able to add itself to the blossoming European Union Hydrogen Highway system.