NEWS

Government, initially fazed, slowly warming to idea

What do you propose the government does? For a start, we believe that future funding should not be fragmented but should be channeled into a large project that could create infrastructure. We could take an island, Milos, for example, and turn it into the front line for development by Greek companies and domestic research programs. In addition, companies oriented toward renewable energy sources need to combine them with hydrogen as a means of storage and transport. Finally, pilot programs need to be implemented immediately, such as hydrogen-powered buses, and so forth. What kind of reaction have you had from governments and municipalities? When we went knocking on the doors of ministries three years ago, they gazed at us in bafflement. Now, things are changing. They’ve seen the campaign in the USA, EU funding [projects]; they also want to absorb the funds… The Ministry of Development actually took part in the conference. The Ministry of Transport has not taken any steps. [Athens Mayor Dora] Bakoyannis said that she wanted hydrogen buses, but when the time came for it to enter the European program, the municipality did not submit an application. Now, they’re changing their minds, but we have to hurry because events are racing ahead. For example, NASA is carrying out a research program, to expire in 2006, to introduce fuel cells into all its equipment, from hand-held devices to spaceships.