The Eco-Friendly Highway - the worlds greenest crossborder corridor?
29-09-2014Green Growth
Creating Europe’s first-ever green cross-border infrastructure corridor where you can get from A to B using only alternative fuels. That is no longer merely a vision – but a reality that is moving closer thanks to the proposed Eco-Friendly Highway project idea, which was presented during the Fehmarnbelt Days 2014 in Copenhagen.

Picture: Better Place

STRING aims to be the driver behind a North European green growth corridor, and the idea behind the Eco-Friendly Highway project, presented at the Fehmarnbelt Days 2014 in Copenhagen, is certainly a step in this direction. In short, this project aims to establish the first ever green transport corridor in Europe, fully aligned and compliant with EUs "directive for infrastructure for alternative fuels". 

This means that the project, if successful, will make it possible for people to travel all the way from Skåne in Sweden, through Copenhagen and Zealand in Denmark to Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg in Germany - entirely on alternative fuels. Up until now, you have had to leave your electric car at home when making this journey, as it has not been possible to charge it or have access to the same technical requirements all this way. That is about to change, if the Eco-Friendly Highway has something to say about it.

It is not only you electric vehicle that you can now dust off for this trip. The project will cover all kinds of alternative fuels and make sure that there is a seamless and efficient accessibility of alternative fuel infrastructure along the entire corridor. That means that being able to quickly and easily change your electric vehicle is only one aspect of the project; others being liquid methane gas stations, compressed methane gas stations and synthetic biofuel stations. The STRING project is led by the Capital Region of Denmark.

- The Capital Region of Denmark supports the creation of the Eco-Friendly Highway project. This is an important step in implementing the STRING green growth strategy and making environmentally friendly solutions accessible across our region, says Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, Chair of the Capital Region of Denmark.

The project will include some real life alternative fuel demonstrations and pilots along the corridor, but the end-result will be the building of physical charging stations for vehicles.

It is all about partnerships

The Eco Friendly Highway project will be built on partnerships. The main goal is of course to improve the accessibility for the regions inhabitants, but it is also important to make good business for our partners in making this possible. The STRING partners will encourage public and private companies, knowledge institutions and other actors like other regions in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, with an interests in the alternative fuel sector, to participate in this project. Private partner contributions can span from alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicle investments, to carrying out pilots and studies.

-We want to make sure that the people who live here, have the opportunity to get from Southern Scandinavia to the North of Germany in vehicles that use eco-friendly fuel. There will be eco-friendly fuel stations for electric, hydrogen fuel cell, synthetic biodiesel, and biogas all along the Eco-Friendly Highway. This also offers interesting opportunities for regional businesses, who we will work with closely, Hæstorp Andersen closes.

Next steps

The project was presented during the Fehmarnbelt Days 2014 in Copenhagen - a platform for stakeholders from the emerging Fehmarnbelt Region and beyond to exchange ideas and experiences, discuss key issues and cross-border collaboration and tap into the growth opportunities of the emerging Fehmarnbelt region. The Eco-Friendly Highway project is currently in the planning phase, and we are hoping to be ready with both a project application and a financial plan including public, EU and private funding, for the European programme ' Connecting Europe Facility' early in 2015.