International Community Energy Challenge 2019

Students from five universities came together on The Faroe Islands to work on real-world energy challenges put forward by businesses and local organisations.

This was the first Energy Challenge to be organised by the Hydrogen Learning Network and it was a resounding success. The students highly valued the unique experience, and businesses and local partners got an idea of what can be done today to solve tomorrow’s energy challenges.

Solving complex energy challenges

Bakkafrost, Strandfaraskip Landsins, KJ Hydraulik and Tórshavn Municipality proposed the challenges to the students, for example: Powering the nation’s fish farms using solar energy and wind instead of fossil fuels, and feasibility studies comparing a diesel/electric hybrid with a fully hydrogen ferry.

These are complex problems, which require expertise from across all disciplines. This was reflected by the variety of the backgrounds of the students - from early in their first bachelor degree, to PhD-students. Their expertise covered many areas including biology, sustainable design engineering, power engineering, and business.

Energy security and local communities 

Currently at the end of long fossil fuel supply chains and being a long way from decision makers in government, a growing unease is felt about energy security, and whether the solutions built by those in power will be what is best for the local communities.

Electrofuels are the solution put forward by the students. Making use of wind, solar energy, hydrogen and electric power, the economically competitive proposals massively reduce emissions, helping the Faroes to achieve their targeted zero emissions on land by 2030. Furthermore, local energy harvesting eliminates the long fossil fuel supply chains and keeps expertise and jobs local.

Growing network

The International Community Energy Challenge (ICEC) and the Hydrogen Learning Network (HLN) are bringing together voices from across the North Atlantic, showing communities what is possible when you link together all the elements of electrofuels.

The ball is already rolling for next year’s Energy Challenge, new students and local partners will join this rapidly growing network, expanding the discussion to involve more and more people. 

The next meeting for the Hydrogen Learning Network will take place in Florø, Norway on the 18/19th September 2019, alongside the International Conference - Maritime Hydrogen and Marine Energy.