The global hydrogen elite assemble in Florø

The 4 annual Maritime Hydrogen and Marine Energy Conference in Florø over the 18th and 19th September successfully brought together world hydrogen leaders to discuss global issues, new technical possibilities and challenges. During the conference it was exciting to hear breaking news of the £5.3m funding awarded for a hydrogen plane in the Orkney Islands and a tender for 8 zero emission ferries in Sogn og Fjordane.


Havyard presenting their innovative FreeCO2AST project

Havyard presenting their innovative FreeCO2AST project

Florø is already on the international hydrogen map, and the fourth annual Maritime Hydrogen and Marine Energy Conference last week strengthened its reputation as a world leading centre for the sector. Organised by Ocean Hyway Cluster, GCE Ocean Technologies and Flora Municipality, the conference attracted 160 participants from 19 separate nations to come together and discuss global issues and new technical possibilities and challenges.

As well as being a host for world leaders in the industry, the team behind the conference takes pride in the fact that they individually welcome each and every person. Attendees set a high value on this with many old faces alongside new participants. Achieving the energy transition is a global challenge, thus building an inter-connected hydrogen community is vitally important and memorable events like this only strengthen these bonds. A highlight for many was the ferry journey and delicious meal at the wonderful family run business Knutholmen in Bremanger.

A memorable evening at Knutholmen: an exciting ferry trip from Florø and wonderful food served by the family run business

A memorable evening at Knutholmen: an exciting ferry trip from Florø and wonderful food served by the family run business

The West Coast of Norway is blessed with clean energy in the forms of hydro, wind, wave, and stable tidal currents that can be used to produce green hydrogen as fuel for boats. Alongside the large natural gas resources and decades of experience with CCS, Norway is in the ideal location for leading the global energy transition to electrification and use of hydrogen.

The speakers covered all aspects of the hydrogen value chain and beyond, a presentation from Gexcon concerning safety and the recent explosion at the hydrogen refuelling station in Sandvika made a strong impact. A lot of discussion surrounded the cost of hydrogen and trying to compete with tax free marine fossil fuels. It is promising to see the price of low-carbon hydrogen costs coming down, yet there’s still a way to go before cost parity. Most countries do not have access to such extensive renewable energy as Norway, that’s where CCS alongside hydrogen from natural gas is crucial. Looking forwards, few are talking about using high carbon (grey) hydrogen.

Networking and forging bonds between the global hydrogen community is a central part of the conference, especially when it takes place on a carbon fibre highspeed ferry designed by Brødrene Åa

Networking and forging bonds between the global hydrogen community is a central part of the conference, especially when it takes place on a carbon fibre highspeed ferry designed by Brødrene Åa

Preparations for next year’s conference are already underway, and the organisers look forward to welcoming new and old faces back to Florø to grow the international hydrogen community.

See the teaser video below!

Mark Purkis