Oslo, Norway [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Norway’s Minister of Transport and Communication, Torild Skogsholm, announced that approximately USD 7.5 million in funds have been earmarked for testing alternative fuels and environmentally friendly technology. The lion’s share of the funds will go towards the HyNor project, a “hydrogen highway” of sorts that spans hundreds of miles along the country’s southern coast between the cities of Oslo and Stavanger.The Research Council of Norway, on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communication, granted a total of NOK 48.6 million (USD 7.5 million) to a series of projects and the testing of hydrogen and biological fuels. “Since 2001, we have tripled funds allotted by the Ministry of Transport and Communication’s budget towards alternative fuels and environmentally friendly technology,” said Skogsholm. “Norway will be a trendsetter in using such technology, and it’s a great pleasure to have received so many exciting and solid applications. This includes the comprehensive HyNor project, which I have great hopes for.” A total NOK 30.2 million (USD 4.6 million) is set aside to the HyNor project, a national development endeavor to use hydrogen in the Norwegian transport sector. The project’s ambition is to build a hydrogen highway between Oslo and Stavanger, develop hydrogen-powered vehicles and establish hydrogen filling stations, between now and 2008. The project will be led by Norway’s Hydro ASA company. “We’re now finally beginning to see the contours of the hydrogen highway from Stavanger to Oslo and have come a significant step closer to realizing Norway’s first hydrogen filling station,” said HyNor project leader, Christopher Kloed, from Hydro. Some NOK 16.2 million (USD 2.5 million) of the means earmarked for HyNor is Hydro’s project to establish a hydrogen filling station in the industrial area of Grenland in Porsgrunn. The filling station may be located in close proximity to Hydro’s research park there, and could use surplus hydrogen manufactured by established industry in the area. “Some pieces still need to fall in place before shovels can hit the ground, but we have every reason to celebrate today,” said Kloed.