Danish researchers helping the Orkney Islands to go green

DTU part of massive EU-supported hydrogen project

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is on board to assist the Orkney Islands in their transition to become 100 percent sustainable within the next five years.

DTU Energy will help the Scottish islands store surplus electricity and convert it into green energy as part of a large EU-supported hydrogen project called ‘BIG HIT’.

“The Orkney Islands have an ambition to lead the way with green energy, and the islands are also an obvious location to test the hydrogen storage module because the islands are so isolated,” Eva Ravn Nielsen, the centre head at the FCH Test Center at DTU Energy, told DR Viden.

“Among other things, we will calculate the environmental benefits, such as how much we can save in CO2 when the free surplus electricity is transformed into hydrogen – which will replace the other fuel sources such as diesel and petrol.”

READ MORE: Faroe Islands aiming for complete sustainable energy sufficiency

Denmark could take advantage
The surplus energy generated from sustainable sources, such as wind turbines, will be transformed into hydrogen that can then be stored and used to fuel cars and heating for schools and the harbour area.

Today, the Orkney Islands, which consists of 70 islands – 20 of which are inhabited by 29,000 people – has a surplus of energy from wind turbines and wave and tidal energy plants.

The project also looks to investigate the impact the hydrogen system would have on the surrounding societies and if it can translate into a success elsewhere.

“The technology is very relevant to Denmark, where we also have a surplus of energy from time to time, and where energy from the sun and wind fluctuates,” said Nielsen.

“Here, the storage of hydrogen through electrolysis could be a way to utilise the energy.”

The Orkney Islands are not alone in seeking the benefits of complete sustainability. Last year, the Faroe Islands set a goal to be 100 percent reliant on sustainable energy by 2030.