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Sunday, 03/17/2024 12:40:14 PM

Sunday, March 17, 2024 12:40:14 PM

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Green hydrogen: Large energy groups in the battle for production
Waiting for the regulatory framework
Machi Tratsa

The dynamic course of the green energy transition has brought to the fore zero-emission technologies, such as hydrogen. The creation of a "green" hydrogen economy produced with energy from Renewable Sources is included in the EU's strategic planning focusing on the gradual development of hydrogen production projects and transport networks, with priority given to its use as a fuel in transport, industry, but also its utilization for long-term energy storage in electricity production.

National Strategy
Mobility is already taking place in Greece, with many domestic energy "fireplaces" developing various projects. However, as the technology is not yet fully mature, significant State or Community aid is needed to support them. At the same time, a strategy and regulatory framework are needed.

Advent Technologies: Next steps for the green hydrogen plant in Kozani

The long-awaited National Strategy for hydrogen, as stated in "Vima" by the Deputy Minister of Energy Mrs. Alexandra Sdoukou, will be included and reflected in the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). "Hydrogen is not an end in itself – the goal is to move to a net-zero carbon economy, at the lowest possible cost, and therefore the hydrogen strategy cannot be a fragmentary text," he stresses.

Regulatory framework
According to the deputy minister, the regulatory framework for hydrogen is also under development, which will be ready by June, as it is a milestone of the Recovery Fund. "It is not an easy task as a number of challenges have to be addressed concerning this new energy carrier, such as the certification of hydrogen as renewable, given that there is also non-renewable hydrogen production, ie from fossil fuels or from electricity derived from fossil fuels," says Ms. Sdoukou.

However, already with EUR 19.5 million in funding secured, The "Hydrogen Hub", a demonstration project in Ptolemaida, is proceeding with the Just Development Transition Fund. On February 7, the first phase of the competition for its creation was completed by the Institute of Chemical Processes and Energy Resources of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH).

According to the research director Mr. Panagiotis Grammalis, interest was expressed by three construction companies (Thales of the Motor Oil group, TEKAL and ERGOTEK) and at the end of April the appointment of the contractor is expected, with the operation of the project to be determined, unless unexpected, at the end of 2025.

Electrolysis projects
At the same time, many electrolysis projects are being baked in Greece by domestic energy groups, such as the "North project 1" in Western Macedonia by Hellenic Hydrogen (a joint venture of Motor Oil and DEH) and the "Blue Med" by Motor Oil at its facilities in Corinth. Also, HELLENiQ Energy is planning a small electrolysis plant at the Elefsina refinery while it is considering the development of a larger unit at the Thessaloniki refineries.

ADVENT Technology is maturing Green HiPo in Western Macedonia, which has been included in the IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest), as well as B&T Composites' H2CAT. Furthermore, Eunice along with eight other partners is promoting the Crete-Aegean hydrogen hub "CRAVE H2", TITAN Group is promoting the H2CEM project, etc.

The Hellenic Gas System Operator (DESFA) plans to blend existing natural gas infrastructure with hydrogen in the medium term, while it looks forward to the inclusion of the first hydrogen pipeline in Greece in the list of projects of common European interest. Investment interest is also high at European level. Recently, the EU launched a pilot auction to financially support projects per kilogram of hydrogen produced, which attracted 132 projects from 17 European countries.
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