20 September 2010
Clean energy company, Acta Group, has plans to install a network of solar-powered hydrogen fueling stations throughout Italy.
BY HARRY TOURNEMILLE
The company has created a commercial system for converting water to hydrogen using solar energy, which means it can be accessed at fueling stations across the country.
Why Hydrogen? Even though it's emissions-friendly, the components required for its conversion do not come from renewable sources and tend to be highly expensive.
Thankfully, hydrogen fuel has come a long way. Most new technology allows it to work in conjunction with batteries, making it a viable, alternative option (manufacturing concerns notwithstanding). But you won't see it widespread throughout Europe. In fact, Italy seems to be the only country trying this technology out on a mass scale.
In part, Acta is taking advantage of Italy's federal legislation, which requires any new petrol stations to install a minimum of photovoltaic generation capacity (in Tuscany it's 12 kw) and offer gaseous fuel alternatives. Obviously, a solar-hydrogen fuel pump would kill the proverbial two birds with one stone.
It could also promote new industry as well, with more hydrogen fuel cars coming into the markets.
Having entered an implicit agreement with Girelli Bruni -- one of Italy's leading service station installation companies, Acta will be supplying the photovoltaic and integrated hydrogen fuel generators for all new stations.