Canada Norway

IPHE Country Update: December 2015

Name: Tom E. Nørbech
Contact Information:
Covered Period: From May 2014

New Policy Initiatives on Clean Technologies and Clean Energy (Read more)

The establishment of a national hydrogen strategy was requested by the Committee of Energy and Environment in January 2015. The strategy will become an integral part of the Government's Energy white paper to the parliament to be launched in spring 2016.

Upon the discontinuation of Transnova by the end of 2014, and the transfer of Transnova's activities to Enova, the responsibility for support schemes for climate efficient transport projects is now with Enova.

After negotiations concerning the National Budget for 2016, parliament has requested the government to establish a support scheme for hydrogen transport infrastructure via Enova.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell R&D Update (Read more)   

There is a significant R&D activity in Norway, in particular at SINTEF (SINTEF Energy Research is an applied research institute dedicated to creating innovative energy solutions. For further information, please see: ) running 10+ EUprojects with support from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). Recent achievements include gas quality analysis of 8 Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRSs) in Europe within the project HyCoRA. Reported gas quality ( is well within the requirements and indicates room for reducing cost of hydrogen by simplifying and/or improving the purification and quality control systems. The work is currently being liaised with the US and Asia through the joint effort of ISO/ASTM (TC197/WG24/D03), aiming at combining SAE (ASTM D7601-11) and ISO sampling strategies into a harmonized standard. SINTEF presented the work in progress at the TC197 Plenary meeting in Torrance, CA, Dec 3-4 2015.

Demonstration and Deployments Update (Read more)

In 2015, 3 new inter-regional (Norway-Sweden) projects involving deployment of FCEV and HRS have commenced: Green Drive Region, Blue Move and Smart Green Region Mid- Scandinavia.

Events and Solicitations (Read more)


Investments: Government and Collaborative Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Funding (Read more)  

The fuel retailer UnoX has signed a Letter of Intent with electrolyser and HRS company NEL Hydrogen, aiming at building 20 HRSs by 2020, provided that public support is granted.

Regulations, Codes & Standards Update (


Data Table (



Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
Norwegian Hydrogen Forum
Research Council, Energy Program

Reports & Publications

Norwegian Official Report: "Hydrogen as the Energy Carrier of the Future" (a proposal from the Official Hydrogen Commission for a new and enhanced hydrogen policy), 3 January 2005 (PDF 422KB)

Member Statements

Member Statements (Read more) - Last updated December 2015

  • Norwegian Statement (PDF 1.33MB); 21st Steering Committee Meeting; Oslo, Norway; 19-21 May 2014
  • Norwegian Statement (PDF 794KB); 15th Steering Committee Meeting; Vancouver, Canada; May 2011
  • Norwegian Statement (PDF 3.12MB); 13th Joint Meeting of the ILC & SC; Essen, Germany; May 2010
  • Norwegian Statement (PDF 1.96MB); ILC/SC Joint Meeting; Washington, DC; 1-3 December 2009
  • Norwegian Statement (PDF 491KB); Steering Committee Meeting; Kyoto, Japan; 14-15 September 2005
  • Norwegian Statement (PDF 508KB); ILC Committee Meeting; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 24-25 April 2007
  • Norwegian Statement (PDF 201KB); Steering Committee Meeting; Paris, France; 26-28 January 2005
  • Norwegian Statement; ILC Meeting; Reisensburg, Germany
  • Ministerial Statement (PDF 106KB); IPHE Inaugural Ministerial Meeting; Washington, D.C.; 20 Nov 2003


Involvement (Read more) - Last updated January 2009

The hydrogen and fuel-cell-related activities in Norway have mostly been parts of larger research and development (R&D) programs within the field of renewable sources of energy. With respect to fuel cells, in 1990 some government-funded research was conducted on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs); however, a major part of this activity has been discontinued. More recently, there have been a few projects on fuel cell activities funded through other energy research programs. The main effort during the last 5 to10 years has been on fundamental and basic R&D related to material sciences, membranes for fuel cells, catalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, electrolyses, and materials for types of hydrogen storage (mostly hydrides).

Given Norway's significant natural gas resources, the production of hydrogen from natural gas with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage is now a high priority in Norway. In addition to natural gas resources, Norway has access to huge areas in the North Sea that are suitable for CO2 sequestration — these areas are estimated to have the capacity to store all CO2 from power production taking place throughout all of Western Europe for at least 600 years. The possibility of using CO2 in enhanced oil recovery also holds great promise for oil production, and a project on the Gullfaks oil field is under consideration. The Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro is also one of the world's leading producers of electrolysers, with a strong competency in electrolysis technology that has been built up over many years.

The Norwegian National Hydrogen Commission identified hydrogen production from abundant, domestic natural gas resources as a key priority.

Policy & Legislature (Read more) - Last updated January 2009

The Norwegian Hydrogen Council was established in December 2005 and consists of representatives from industry, academia, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and government institutions. In December 2006, the Council presented its Action Plan to its two appointing ministries (Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and Ministry of Transport and Communications).

The Hydrogen Council has proposed a set of national milestones to ensure that Norway consolidates and strengthens its position as a visible international player in the hydrogen field.

The Hydrogen Council has furthermore outlined five different scenarios for a national hydrogen initiative. These vary greatly both in content and scope, from continuing our activities at the current level to a major Norwegian hydrogen initiative. The scenarios reflect the Hydrogen Council's three most important priorities for such an initiative:

  1. Strengthening the mobility of researchers and Norwegian participation in international networks and forums.
  2. Increasing the financial support for demonstration activities.
  3. Increasing the financial support for R&D activities and the development of national test facilities.

The Hydrogen Council recommends that the funding for hydrogen activities be increased over three years (2008–2010).

Norway spends considerable resources on research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of hydrogen-related technologies. The public part of hydrogen research in Norway is financed through two research programs: RENERGI (energy) and NANOMAT (nanomaterials). The total amount spent on hydrogen RD&D was NOK 81 million (US$14.82 million) in 2008 and includes projects related to storage, hydrogen production, and transportation. The demonstration activities received NOK 21 million [US$3.56 million] of the budget.

For fuel cells, Norway spent NOK 24 million [US$3.36 million] in 2008. Of this amount, 11.5 million [US$1.95 million] was related to stationary applications, while 12.5 million [US$2.19 million] was related to mobile applications.

Norwegian pie chart

In total, approximately NOK 80 million [US$13.56 million] was be spent through the various instrumentalities in 2008 (NOK 30 million (US$5.66 million) from RENERGI [MPE], NOK 22 million (US$4.1 million) from RENERGI [MTL], NOK 3 million (US$508,000) from NANOMAT [MER], and NOK 14 million (US$2.6 million) from CLIMIT [MPE/Fund]. These are funds that may be applied for and do not include allocations to universities, university colleges, and institutes).

Total project funding to date:

  • Fuel cells, €0.5 million (US$0.7 million)
  • Production of hydrogen, €3.3 million (US$4.62 million)
  • Hydrogen storage, €3.4 million (US$4.76 million)
  • Hydrogen systems analysis, €2 million (US$ 2.8 million)

The Norwegian parliament has removed the registration fee for hydrogen-fuel-powered vehicles. Fuel cell hydrogen vehicles are exempted from annual taxes. All drivers of hydrogen-fuel-powered vehicles are also allowed to drive in the bus lanes and are also exempted from paying road tolls on public roads.

Research & Development (Read more) - Last updated January 2009

Research program RENERGI (clean energy for the future)

RENERGI is an overall energy technology development program with a hydrogen and fuel cell (FC) research element. The annual funding for the hydrogen and FC research element is approximately NOK 30 million (US$5.66 million).

The Utsira project

Utsira is a small island community, where testing of an autonomous energy system based on wind power and hydrogen has been demonstrated since 2004. The project consists of using a wind turbine to produce electricity. The energy production that is not used directly will be used for producing hydrogen by water electrolysis. The hydrogen is then stored and used as backup for producing electricity from a hydrogen combustion engine and a fuel cell when there is no wind. The project commenced in July 2004 with NOK 9.7 million (US$1.83 million) in public funding. Total cost is NOK 40 million (US$7.0 million).

Hydrogen for gasification

This project conducts studies on integrated SOFC and biomass gasification. The overall objective is to identify a process to gasify biomass and receive hydrogen with a level of purity sufficient for SOFC by using a sand filter.

Chemical/metal hydrides

This research is an important area in Norway, and there is a substantial effort being invested in five different projects with different approaches related to using metal hydrides.

Carbon nano-tubes

This postdoctoral project is based at the Institute for Energy Technology and the Physics Institute.

Safety, codes, and standards

There are five projects covering different aspects of system challenges when integrating hydrogen technology into an energy system. Important objectives are to develop safety, codes, and standards; determine the dynamic behavior of FC systems; and evaluate demonstration projects.


This project has a major focus on material science related to membranes/proton conductors. Topics include hydrogen separation membranes, proton conductors, and fast oxygen and proton conductors.

PEM Fuel Cell

The effort on polymer electrolyte membranes is taking palce mostly at the Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, or NTNU) in Trondheim. At present, the activity concentrates on two projects. The major objectives are twofold: (1) develop alternative catalysts or processes, thereby reducing the use of platinum as a catalyst, and (2) conduct fundamental research on a reversible PEM/electrolyser.


One SOFC-related project is to open up the offshore production of oil and gas without the release of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. A second activity concentrates on improving the working efficiency and competitiveness of SOFC fuel cells for power generation with natural gas. A third activity is related to filter mechanisms for cleaning hydrogen from gasified biomass to reach sufficient levels of purity for use in an SOFC.

Demonstration & Deployment (Read more) - Last updated January 2009


On August 23, 2006, Norway's first hydrogen filling station was opened at Forus in Stavanger. The station is part of the national HyNor project (, which in turn is part of the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP).

The Stavanger hydrogen filling station is fully integrated as part of a commercial service station that is open to the public. It is also integrated with a natural gas filling capability , meaning that different gas products are supplied, as follows:

  1. Hydrogen is available at both 350- and 700-bar pressures. The hydrogen is of fuel cell quality and supplied by truck.
  2. Naturalhy, also known as HCNG (hybrid compressed natural gas), is a hybrid product of hydrogen and natural gas. At Forus, this hybrid blend consists of 8% hydrogen and 92% natural gas by volume. Naturalhy is available at 200-bar pressure and can be used in natural-gas–powered vehicles.
  3. Natural gas is available at 200 bars. 

Shortly afterward, in May 2007, a new hydrogen filling station was opened in Porsgrunn. This filling station supplies hydrogen through a pipeline from a nearby chlor-alkaline plant. At the same time, 15 hydrogen cars were purchased from Quantum USA and leased to local customers. Hydrogen vehicles that have already been used and/or tested in the HyNor project include the Mazda RX‑8, the Toyota Quantum Prius, the Fyk concept sports car, the Think Hydrogen, and the ENV Bike. In 2009, the HyNor project will establish several new hydrogen filling stations — in Oslo, Drammen, and Kristiansand — and in the Stavanger hub, local CO2-neutral hydrogen production from biogas will be available. The number of hydrogen cars in the HyNor project will be increased throughout 2009 with the purchase of 30 to 40 Mazda RX-8 cars, which will be supplied from the factory in Japan. 

Utsira Wind Hydrogen Plant

The Utsira wind hydrogen plant has been operating for nearly 4 years supplying renewable electricity to 10 households on the Utsira Island. The aim of the project is to demonstrate an autonomous energy system and to integrate established and new technology with renewable energy sources to create a viable renewable energy system. The plant consists of a wind turbine (600 kW, plus flywheel and master synchronous machine), a 0.9 kg/hour hydrogen alkaline electrolyzer, compressor, and hydrogen storage (216 kg, 20 MPa), and a 10-kW PEM fuel cell and 55-kW hydrogen engine. The plant is wholly owned by StatoilHydro and is operated in collaboration with the German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon.

Hynor Project

The Hynor Project started in 2005 to demonstrate real-life implementation of a hydrogen infrastructure along a 580-km route between the cities of Oslo and Stavanger. This project currently has 2 filling stations and 15 cars (see below). More cars and filling stations will become operational in 2008 and 2009. The project comprises all steps required to develop a hydrogen infrastructure and will include various hydrogen production technologies and uses of hydrogen, in all cases with an adaptation to local conditions. The project is a public–private partnership connecting major industrial and energy companies, transport companies, regional and national public authorities, and R&D institutes. The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP), a collaboration between Hynor and Swedish and Danish hydrogen organizations, has been established to extend the hydrogen road through Sweden and Denmark.


Total of 2 hydrogen filling stations

Station Capacity Dispensing Pressure Production Method
5.4 kg
35 MPa
Chlor-alkaline plant by-product, transported by pipeline to the station
30 kg (6 cars/hour)
70 MPa
Delivered (natural gas reforming planned in the future)


  • Total of 15 ICE vehicles (Toyota Prius)


  • 1 stationary fuel cell, 10-kW PEM


None reported

LINKS Renewables/Hydrogen/Pages/Utsira-prosjektet.aspx


There may be additional small fuel cells used in internal research not listed here.
Norwegian institutes participate in IEA HIA Task 18 Integrated Systems Evaluations.