IREA offers study trip exploring Iceland’s hydrogen economy

The Illinois Renewable Energy Association is organizing a five-day trip to Iceland early in May for decision-makers to explore how Iceland is progressing on its path to a hydrogen economy and how some concepts will transfer to the Midwest. Iceland plans to become the first country in the world to run its economy on hydrogen fuel.

The IREA has been invited by Professor Thorsteinn Sigfusson of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik to organize this trip. In October 2003, Drs. Robert and Sonia Vogl spent a week in Iceland meeting with Dr. Sigfusson and planning the spring trip.

The purposes of the trip will be to gain a grasp of the scope and strategies used in Iceland to implement an energy system based on renewable energy sources and hydrogen, and to contrast the Icelandic approach to the approach taken within Illinois and the midwest and assess its applicability and opportunities for Illinois and the midwest.

Participants will attend University seminars on the development of the hydrogen economy and will tour University laboratories in which hydrogen and nanotechnology capabilities are being developed and hydrogen and renewable energy programs and facilities. They will visit sites where Iceland’s geothermal resources are used as energy sources. They will also have the opportunity to discuss implementing strategic approaches in Illinois and the Midwest with Icelandic political leaders with experience in the field.

The group will be composed of 10 to 20 decision-makers, opinion leaders, and interested citizens from Illinois. The cost will be approximately $2,200.


Saturday, May 1: Depart U.S. around 4:30 p.m. on Icelandic Airlines.

Sunday, May 2: Arrive 6:20 a.m.; check in, visit the Blue Lagoon and the Rift Museum

Monday, May 3: Visit Nesjavell power plant (producing electricity, hot water, and building heat for Reykjavik), greenhouses (powered by geothermal energy, growing tomatoes, bananas, and other warm climate fruit), geysers & pools (evidence of geothermal activity). Side trip to Thingvallier, National park and site of the first Icelandic Parliament

Tuesday, May 4: New Energy Seminar at the University of Iceland, hydrogen bus refueling and ride on the bus, visit to nanotechnology lab

Wednesday, May 5: Glacier tour (melting as a result of global warming)

Thursday, May 6: Discussion with decision-makers focusing on implementing Icelandic concepts in Illinois

Friday, May 7: Half day to tour Reykjavik; depart for U.S. around 4:30.

Alternative dates

April 24-30, 2004

Information: Drs. Robert and Sonia Vogl, 123 E. Honey Creek Rd., Oregon, IL 61061, 815-732-7332, or

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