The European Hydrogen Week 2023, held in Brussels, emphasizes the role of hydrogen in the energy transition. This year’s event is a collaboration between Hydrogen Europe, the European Commission, and the Clean Hydrogen Partnership. As the world strives to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, hydrogen technologies are playing an increasingly vital role. The focus is on facilitating discussions, exchanging knowledge, and exploring new advancements in the hydrogen sector.
The Region of Crete has been closely following the rapid developments in the utilization of Hydrogen as an alternative fuel for many years, and as a result of this long-term effort, it is participating as a “partner” in two major projects: Grave and H2 Crete Hydrogen Valley. These projects have already started with formal preparatory actions and will soon move to more practical measures, aiming to eventually produce hydrogen for the first time on the island.
“There are obviously many technical and legislative difficulties, but the need to utilize clean and green Hydrogen as a dominant alternative fuel and energy source on our island will overcome these obstacles,” emphasized Giorgos Alexakis, Regional Councillor of Crete and Special Advisor on European and International Affairs. “From our international contacts here at the Hydrogen Exhibition, I am impressed that many want to invest in Crete for Hydrogen,” noted Lefteris Kopasis, Regional Councillor of Crete, who also attended the presentation of the ProEuropean project named H2 Crete Hydrogen Valley.
The Cretan delegation consists of Giorgos Alexakis and Lefteris Kopasis, Regional Councillors, and the administrative factors Aris Stratakis and Andreas Pantelous, who participate and monitor the proceedings of the meetings, conducting bilateral contacts with politicians, scientists, businessmen, consultants, and investors.
The successful presentation of the H2CRETE Valley project took place during the Hydrogen Week held in Brussels from November 20th to 24th. The project of the German Energy Company ProEuropean Trading GmbH is being handled by the experienced Engineers and Economists of the world-renowned company RINA, and the presentation was given by the Vice President, Mr. Andrea Bombardi, of Carbon Reduction Excellence.
RINA is a global certification, inspection, testing, and consulting services company, founded in Italy with a long history dating back to 1861. RINA specializes in various sectors, including shipping, energy, infrastructure, and industry, offering technical services aimed at improving safety and quality. RINA is also involved in the development and implementation of innovative solutions to support its clients in achieving sustainable development. RINA has an extensive global network, with over 200 offices and laboratories in 70 countries, and employs more than 5,300 people. The company’s headquarters are located in Genoa, Italy. During the presentation, Mr. Bombardi analyzed the H2CRETE Valley project as follows:
The energy transition, as a roadmap towards net-zero, is pervasive to all the sectors and must leverage on all the technologies and solutions that could help reach this goal. Industrial players need to balance the technology maturity with long term investments, infrastructure readiness with EU policies, energy independence with feasibility.
In this context, Hydrogen (H2) will play a major role in the energy transition. Hydrogen technologies provide a mature and competitive solutions towards EU energy security and decarbonization strategies.
H2 Production process (electrolysis) and RES power generation are becoming cheaper, making Green H2 a strong alternative in the energy transformation of many hard-to-abate industries.
The European Union aims to achieve a domestic production of 10 million tons by 2030. To meet the production targets set by EU, additional investments in production capacity are necessary, particularly in Green H2.
“In this well-known and challenging context, H2CRETE Valley is a pioneer project since it allows the island of Crete, also for its strategic position, to become a Green Hydrogen hub and a key pillar of entry, transmission, and distribution of energy from North Africa to Europe.” – stated Andrea Bombardi, Carbon Reduction Excellence, Executive Vice President in RINA – “RINA’s experienced engineers and economists are fully committed in supporting the complete development of the project, from the techno-economic feasibility study to the final deployment and entry into operation in January 2028 ”
H2CRETE is, in fact, focused on large-scale Green H2 production facility of 100 MW, located in Atherinolakos – Crete Island (Greece).
It is worth to underline that Greece is part of the Hydrogen Corridor E – East and South-East Europe designed by European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) and part of the South-Eastern H2 Corridor designed by European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (ECH2A).
Finally, H2CRETE is recognized as “Hydrogen Valley” by Clean Hydrogen Partnership through Mission Innovation Hydrogen Valley Platform. Currently, there are 54 Hydrogen Valleys in EU27 and only 2 in Greece. “With these premises the realization of H2CRETE is extremely strategic not only for Greece but for Europe as a whole” Mr Bombardi concludes.
H2CRETE Valley’s ambition is not only to be a pioneer in Green Hydrogen production but also to become a lighthouse project for the Industry as a whole, generating spillover effects. Thanks to RINA, H2CRETE project will develop pricing modelling, techno-economic analyses & insights, paving the way to the establishment of the European Green Hydrogen Industry.
Dear friends of Hydrogen Europe and the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
I remember very vividly the moment when we launched the European Green Deal, exactly four years ago. Back then, clean hydrogen was the dream of a few visionaries – many of whom are in the audience today. Those visionaries believed that clean hydrogen could be central to our transition towards climate neutrality. With its potential to power heavy industries, to propel trucks and trains, and to store seasonal energy.
Today, four years later, the hydrogen economy is blooming. The first hydrogen buses are running in European cities, from Riga to Barcelona. Construction works have just begun on the Port of Rotterdam, to build a hydrogen network that will span for over one thousand kilometres. And weeks ago, the world’s first plane powered by liquid hydrogen cruised the skies of Slovenia. It is the dawn of the clean hydrogen era. And all of this is happening thanks to people like you, pioneers and believers in the clean hydrogen revolution.
In these four years, we have done our utmost to support and accompany you. To help you bring innovative hydrogen solutions from the laboratory to the factory, from the factory to the market, and from niche to scale. We have been working on three main strands.
First, strong public investment to scale up the hydrogen market. Second, international cooperation to build a global market for hydrogen. And third, a new partnership with the private sector to spur innovation. Let me update you on the progress we have achieved so far on each strand of work.
First, on investment. The European Green Deal is backed by massive investment. With NextGenerationEU and REPowerEU, we are investing in hydrogen valleys, hydrogen trains, and clean-steel factories. We have authorised over 17 billion euros in State Aid for roughly 80 hydrogen projects across the EU. And this week, we are taking the next step, launching the first auction of the European Hydrogen Bank. It is backed by 800 million euros in European funding. And more importantly, it will attract private sector financing and result in commercial off-take agreements.
Today I can also announce the next steps for the European Hydrogen Bank. In Spring 2024, we will launch the second round of auctions, reaching a total value of three billion euros. It is a promise we made one year ago, and it is now becoming reality. In parallel, we are also working on the international leg of the European Hydrogen Bank. This will secure diversified imports of renewable hydrogen from reliable suppliers abroad.
And this leads me to my second point. That is,
developing a global market for clean hydrogen. We have already signed hydrogen partnerships with countries ranging from Egypt, Kenya and Namibia, to Latin American countries. They have immense potential to produce clean energy, transform it into clean hydrogen, and then ship it to the world.
And here at the Hydrogen Week, new and exciting initiatives will see the light and will be discussed. With Kazakhstan, Australia and Oman. And together with President Lula of Brazil, we are announcing the European Union’s support to build one of the biggest hydrogen projects in the world, in the Brazilian State of Piaui. It is part of a two billion euro Global Gateway investment in the hydrogen value chain in Brazil.
This new Green Energy Park will be a 10 GW production facility for clean hydrogen and ammonia, which will then be shipped to the island of Krk in Croatia. From there, hydrogen will travel to serve industrial off-takers in South-East Europe. And in parallel, this project will create local jobs and value chains in Brazil.
All of this shows, more than ever, that Europe is not only a clean hydrogen pioneer, but also a partner – to build a worldwide hydrogen market. With these public investments we are helping attract and mobilise massive private capital.
Cooperation with the private sector is my third and final point. This has always been the logic of the European Green Deal: We provide clear rules and incentives, so that you, inventors and investors, can push forward the clean transition. With you, the industry, in the driving seat. This is why we have just launched a series of Clean Transition Dialogues with each industrial ecosystem.
And it was only natural to dedicate the first Clean Transition Dialogue to the hydrogen industry. Last month we sat down with many of you, to plan the next phase for the European hydrogen sector. Now, we have to follow up our conversation. And we will do just that. By the end of the year, we will assess how Member States plan to implement their national hydrogen commitments. To provide you with a clear roadmap towards 2030 in each Member State.
We will also make it simpler to access public financing. By creating a one-stop-shop under the European Hydrogen Bank, to guide hydrogen project promoters on EU funding. In our dialogue, we also discussed how to support producers and consumers to better find each other. Linking the demand and supply of clean hydrogen.
We will do this by creating a public platform where consumers can indicate their demand.And producers can find their off-takers.These are just three examples that show how we are moving to the next phase. From dialogue with industry to the actual creation of Europe’s hydrogen market. Setting it on the fast track.
That is exactly the core business of the European Hydrogen Week. This is a place where governments meet industry, companies meet customers and ideas meet investors. It is a place where vision becomes reality. And this is the destiny of the clean hydrogen economy.
I wish you all a very successful European Hydrogen Week.
The European Hydrogen Week has commenced in Brussels, where leading companies from around the world in this sector are participating. Among them is the German energy company ProEuropean Trading GmbH, led by Ms. Elena Margariti and Ms. Aikaterini Lianoudaki, accompanied by a large group of scientists. During the four-day high-level policy conference and forum, top policymakers in the hydrogen field will discuss and present the latest developments, challenges, and opportunities in this distinct energy sector, which is gaining ground worldwide.
The event began with a recorded message from President Ursula von der Leyen and a keynote speech by Executive Vice President Maroš Šefčovič on the role of hydrogen and the global challenges ahead, referring to the need to maintain the competitiveness of the EU industry.
With more than 7000 participants and an exhibition spanning 8000 sqm, the European Hydrogen Week promises to be a pivotal point for networking, relationship building, and knowledge exchange. Participants will have the opportunity to attend various talks in the conference streams, participate in discussions with experts, and attend networking evenings where hydrogen industry personalities and influencers will discuss industry developments.
There is also great interest in the presentation of the major project by the German energy company ProEuropean Trading GmbH, which will be implemented in Crete, the H2CRETE Valley. This project aims to transform the beautiful Greek island into the first independently green-energy-powered region.
The Business Dinner of the Hellenic-German Chamber of Commerce was held with great success on Friday, November 3rd, at the “Makedonia Palace” hotel in Thessaloniki. The official guests and speakers of the dinner were the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Adonis Georgiadis, and the Minister of Development, Kostas Skrekas. After their speeches, the Ministers took part in a Q&A session and discussed with the participants all the open issues of the economy, especially the government’s plans in the fields of investments and entrepreneurship.
In a period of intense investment activity and shortly after the election of the new government, the Hellenic-German Chamber of Commerce took the initiative to organize this particular event in order to highlight the characteristics that make up a rapidly changing economic environment which is clearly affected by the current developments of the last few days.
Significant at the event, and as a “Gold Sponsor,” was the presence of the German energy company ProEuropean Trading GmbH, represented by the CEO Ms. Elena Margariti, accompanied by Ms. Melissa Verykios, Chair of the Board of Clean Hydrogen Partnership, and Dr. Ioannis Tzortzis, Legal Advisor, Head of the Coordinating Committee of the Fair Development Transition Plan.
During their contacts with the Ministers, MPs, and Entrepreneurs of the Hellenic-German Chamber of Commerce, they had the opportunity to showcase the major project to be carried out in Crete, the H2 CRETE VALLEY, whose official presentation will take place on Tuesday, November 21st, 2023, in Brussels at the Hydrogen Week exhibition. This project is part of the 84 globally recognized valleys by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership organization and concerns the production of Green Hydrogen from Renewable Energy Sources (RES).
The South Australian Government Department for Energy and Mining’s final approvals today (Oct 10) means Gold Hydrogen can immediately start its hunt to show near carbon-free hydrogen exists naturally in the Earth’s sub-surface in commercial quantities.
The approvals immediately had major media outlets like The Australian covering our plans to drill within the next 24 hours, the first such play in Australia.
Gold Hydrogen was formed after geologists uncovered nearly 100-year-old records from oil and gas drilling tests on the Yorke Peninsula. The tests found hydrogen at about 90% purity, but hydrogen was of no commercial value back then.
Armed with the historic data and with hydrogen becoming a key component in Australia’s drive to reach net zero emissions, Gold Hydrogen, which listed on the ASX earlier this year, has moved quickly in its bid to be the first company to prove low-cost natural hydrogen exists in Australia.
Internationally recognised SLB (formerly Schlumberger) and Savanna Energy are leading the drill program for Gold Hydrogen.
The first well to be drilled, Ramsay 1, is adjacent to the historic well where the tests more than 90 years ago showed hydrogen. A second site in the PEL 687 tenement area will be ready for drilling next month.
Gold Hydrogen managing director Neil McDonald said the company was grateful for the support it had received from stakeholders and the pace at which the SA Government had moved to enable exploration.
“The South Australians have moved faster on hydrogen than anyone,” Mr McDonald said. “As you can imagine, there is huge excitement in our team as we try to be the first in this country to discover natural hydrogen.”
The natural hydrogen phenomenon is relatively new, with a small town in Mali already powered by natural hydrogen, and major exploration plays underway in Europe, North and South America and in other areas in Africa.
Gold Hydrogen believes hydrogen is continuously produced from the interaction underground of certain rock formations and water. Independent estimates have shown that the South Australian field could hold enough gas to power the city of Adelaide for 40 years.
Getting natural hydrogen from the sub-surface could come at a major cost discount to man-made hydrogen, such as green hydrogen made with renewable energy or blue hydrogen from natural gas.
Mr McDonald said Australia needed projects such as this to succeed to achieve its net zero goals.
“We hope to be part of the solution, and we’ll know in weeks how big an opportunity this is for us, and the country.”
Aramco, the state-owned petroleum and natural gas company of Saudi Arabia, said it is moving forward with a lower-carbon hydrogen, direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide project.
The move aligns with the energy conglomerate’s aim to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its assets by 2050. Saudi Arabia also has net-zero ambitions to reach by 2060.
Carbon Capture Project Aramco already completed a pilot project in Denmark and is in the process of signing an engineering agreement with Topsoe to construct a lower-carbon hydrogen demonstration plant at the Shaybah Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) recovery plant, in Saudi Arabia. Topsoe is a Danish company that specializes in carbon emission reduction technologies, supplying technology, catalysts, and services for the global energy transition.
The plant, when completed, is expected to have a production capacity of six tons of hydrogen per day. It will use renewable electricity in electrified steam reforming of hydrocarbons to produce lower-carbon hydrogen for use in power generation, and the resulting carbon is captured and sequestered.
“These projects highlight just some of the innovative ways that Aramco aims to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change,” Ahmad Al Khowaiter, Aramco executive vice president of technology and innovation, said in a statement. “We are working on multiple fronts, partnering with leaders in a variety of fields, in an effort to advance technology solutions that have the potential to make a real impact. This includes new and groundbreaking approaches that align with our vision of a circular carbon economy, as we strive to meet the world’s energy needs both now and in the future.”
The oil and gas company is also collaborating with Siemens Energy to develop a DAC test unit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The unit has the capacity to capture up to 12 tons of CO2 per year. Aramco’s test unit with Siemens is expected to be completed in 2024 and will pave the way for a larger pilot plant with the carbon capture capacity of 1,250 tons per year.
Decarbonizing oil and gas The project comes as the oil and gas industry globally is focusing on reducing its emissions. Carbon capture and storage solutions are one such solution for the hard-to-decarbonize industry. Other solutions that are being explored in the industry include powering oil rigs with renewable energy or hydrogen.
Aramco also said it completed a novel pilot carbon sequestration platform that uses in situ mineralization, where carbon dioxide is dissolved in water and injected into volcanic rocks in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. In the process, CO2 is permanently converted into carbonate rocks. The pilot included representatives from Aramco and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
Beyond carbon capture, Aramco is also looking into adding geothermal energy, with three potential areas on the west coast of Saudi Arabia identified and mapped currently being assessed.
Carbon capture has been criticized by some climate experts, and direct air capture is the most expensive method of carbon capture, according to the International Energy Agency. Additionally, DAC machines use a lot of energy that pulls away from the decarbonization they provide. Further, critics have voiced dismay that the solution is attractive to oil and gas companies because they don’t have to reduce their fossil fuel production and can lean on an after-the-fact solution to tout their climate-related changes.
A Siemens Energy industrial gas turbine has been operated on 100% renewable hydrogen in France.
Installed at paper packaging company Smurfit Kappa’s site in Saillat-sur-Vienne, the HYFLEXPOWER project saw hydrogen produced by a 1MW electrolyser which was then stored in a tank for use by the Siemens SGT-400 turbine.
Made up on Siemens Energy, ENGIE, Centrax, Arttic, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and four European Universities, the project aimed to demonstrate the viability of using hydrogen as a flexible energy storage medium.
Siemens supplied the electrolyser and turbine; ENGIE built the hydrogen production, storage and supply; Centrax provided the upgrade package to ensure safe operation with hydrogen; and the DLR and universities contributed to turbine technology development.
“The knowledge and experience gained from the HYFLEXPOWER project… will help us to continue to develop our entire gas turbine fleet for a hydrogen-based future,” said Karim Amin, Member of the Executive Board of Siemens Energy.
“The interaction between electrolysis, storage and conversion at one site has been impressively demonstrated and now it’s a matter of scaling the results,” Amin added.
Following on from the success of the trial, the HYFLEXPOWER consortium plans to add more members to extend operations to industrial heat production and to explore ways of scaling up and commercialising decarbonised electricity generation.
In November (2022), Siemens and EnBW revealed they would install hydrogen-capable two gas turbines with a combined 62MW output at EnBW district heating power plant in Stuttgart-Munster.
ENGIE’s Executive Vice-President in charge of Energy Solutions, Frank Lacroix, said, the project was remarkable, continuing, “It has enabled between several European partners, for the forward-looking technologies it has tested, and for the promising prospects it opens up for the use of renewable hydrogen in the industrial sectors most difficult to decarbonise.”
The project received “substantial” funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
HYVIA has announced it will bring together a hundred hydrogen industry players committed to the adoption of zero-emission transport to take stock of its hydrogen ecosystem.
From October 2-12, HYVIA will host pioneers in the hydrogen sector that are still in development stages to utilise its ecosystem that the company has built for over two years.
Relying on its two founding groups, Renault Group and Plug Power, HYVIA has manufactured hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles (LCVs), refuelling applications, fuel cells and low carbon hydrogen electrolysis, and financing solutions for professionals.
David Holderbach, HYVIA’s CEO, said, “The hydrogen sector is effervescent but still emerging, still torn by the dynamics of the chicken and the egg. HYVIA’s team of pioneers has been taking on great challenges every day for more than two years.
“It is a human, technological and industrial adventure, alongside Renault Group and Plug, as well as all our partners to invent together the hydrogen mobility of tomorrow.”
Holderbach spoke during H2 View’s Mobility Pillar Special Webinar in June (2023) and claimed industry players “need to educate and communicate” in order to change the perspective on hydrogen mobility.
He added, “When you drive diesel, there’s energy in the tank and when you have battery it’s the same situation. It’s exactly the same for hydrogen.”
HYVIA has strong partnerships with other zero-emission automotive companies, being integrated into the Important Project of Common Interest (IPCEI) “Hy2Tech”, where it relies on a team of 130 pioneers that have initiated a commercial, after-sales, engineering, and industrial dynamic, with solid partners and created a network between hydrogen mobility players.
HYVIA is set to announce a new partnership with Atawey, a leading player in hydrogen refuelling stations, aiming to create a new offering dubbed HYWELLTM. The company is also strengthening its collaboration with HYSETCO.
Julien Etienne, CCO of HYVIA, said, “Our offer is already a reality in the most mature countries: France, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Other countries will follow with the future development of the hydrogen sector and our commercial dynamics.”
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