Norway Plays Host to Creative Eco-Friendly Projects

A windy island off the western coast of Norway is the site for an ambitious demonstration project that aims to power a tiny town solely with renewable energy, without need for a backup power system run on fossil fuels or other eco-icky technologies. One problem with wind and solar power is that when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, the kilowatts aren’t produced. Norwegian utility company Norsk Hydro aims to get over that hurdle on the island of Utsira, where two wind turbines will be producing electricity for a small community. Excess wind power will be used to produce hydrogen that can run a hydrogen combustion engine and a fuel cell to provide electricity whenever the breezes stop blowing. “It is the first full-scale project of this type in the world,” said project manager Paal Otto Eide — but Norsk Hydro hopes it won’t be the last. Meanwhile, in an unrelated Norwegian eco-venture, two philanthropically inclined entrepreneurs are trying to raise a few bucks for their favorite environmental groups by charging for access to a green-themed porn website, though with little success thus far.