on April 14, 2021 at 10:00 – 12:40 (EEST) in Zoom – Register here
Many countries and organisations are in the middle of defining their hydrogen policies, roadmaps and strategies. Expectations are high that this old but newly re-discovered renewable energy carrier will play an important role in reaching the climate targets and it seems to be inevitable that hydrogen will shape our future energy sector. The question is: who will be the first to mobilise their forces and what happens to those who will not come along?
One of the most important components of the hydrogen economy is a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell or PEMFC. This device can be used to efficiently transform the chemical energy hidden inside hydrogen into green electricity. PEMFCs are also being eagerly studied at the Institute of Chemistry of the University of Tartu. How does this device work? How is it made? Where is it already being used?
Hydrogen technologies, instead of catenary electrification need to be developed for our railway.
The Estonian Association of Hydrogen Technologies proposes to take up hydrogen technologies instead of catenary electrification. Hydrogen technologies would save €350 million for the state and compared to catenary electrification allows reaching Estonia’s climate goals by 3 times and renewable energy targets 6 times cheaper.
In the proposal sent to the ministries and parliament it is recommended to hold plans for electrification until a result is achieved on the deployment of hydrogen technologies on rail.
Reducing the carbon footprint in transportation and rail is one of the key challenges for Estonia in the coming years. The current plan is to achieve renewable energy goals by electrifying rail and it is expected to cost €428 million. The government made this principle decision in the summer of 2019 and Estonian Railways announced the procurement of design work in May this year.
It is now the last chance to make a strategic decision to adopt hydrogen technologies on rail, make Estonia lead the world in this field of technology, save €350 million for other projects and help us reach climate- and renewable energy goals times cheaper. The failure to make forward-looking decisions now would mean decades-long entanglement with yesterday’s wasteful technologies and an aggravation of the development gap. However, the savings effect of the introduction of next generation technologies would provide an additional opportunity to make additional investments in railways, such as achieving the speed of passenger traffic suitable for a modern European country.
By implementing these proposals, perhaps by 2030 it will be possible to travel from Tallinn to Tartu by a more efficient, cleaner hydrogen train instead of a diesel. With the money saved, opportunities could be created to improve the railway in the direction of Narva and Tartu, perhaps even allowing passenger trains at speeds beyond the current ambition of 135 km/h but also allowing for more efficient services, additional trains and smarter systems.”
The proposals also indicate that hydrogen production based on rail transport can be further developed to include hydrogen for road vehicles. With the introduction of hydrogen technology on the railway, it is possible to create preconditions for covering the whole of Estonia with universal hydrogen infrastructure.
The project NOTS, Nordic Open Creative Energy Summit Innovation Workshop is an inspirational hydrogen oriented learning day aimed at spreading over latest news and information on hydrogen and fuel cells applications. Also, creating new contacts and networks, but above all, an opportunity to allow people from different sectors and backgrounds to meet and challenge the established methods and approaches for innovation and development.
Estonian Ministry of Environment initiated the hydrogen working group on 25th October 2019. The goal is to analyze and set up The Hydrogen Roadmap for Estonia. Usage of hydrogen and fuel cell technology are the key elements guiding Estonia to the carbon-neutral economy to achieve climate targets.
On kick-off meeting the first goal was set up, which is to issue Hydrogen Roadmap for Estonia. Next hydrogen working group meeting is scheduled in early November, where we are planning to discuss more specifically policy and technical measures to be considered.
A unique chance to witness next generation technology in Tallinn’s Seaplane harbour marina, the Energy Observer. This catamaran is the first hydrogen vessel in the world. Hydrogen is produced on-board from renewable solar, wind and hydro energy. Hydrogen is used as fuel directly on windless days or late hours without sunlight.
On the 30th of May, Estonian based SKYCORP OÜ with the Estonian Hydrogen Association presented in Tallinn Europe’s first commercially available hydrogen drone, the e-Drone Zero.
The next generation hydrogen Fuel Cell technology used on the drone allows it to have a flight endurance of 120 minutes instead of the usual 20-30 minutes as seen on batteries. It dramatically increases the value from drone missions and opens up new use-cases especially with future Smart Cities. Additional benefits include refuelling in just 1-2 minutes to increase productivity without having to carry multiple sets of LiPO batteries around.
HyLaw stands for the Hydrogen Law and removal of legal barriers to the deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen applications. HyLaw is a flagship project aimed at boosting the market uptake of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. It has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (grant agreement No 737 977) and is supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Hydrogen Europeand Hydrogen Europe Research. HyLaw is the two-years (01.01.2017 – 31.12.2018) European-wide project including 23 partners and oriented to bring together all national FCH (Fuel Cell & Hydrogen) associations with a common ambition of consolidation this important sector. HyLaw in fact, has a longer term perspective to set up a FCH National Associations Alliance with the aim to bring all actors in the field under a single unified umbrella.
HyLaw resuming seminar
Seminar with around 45…50 stakeholders took place in Hydrogen Europe office on the 6th of December. The Agenda was impressively tight with the Keynote from Dr Nicolas Brahy, Director of the Hydrogen Europe in cooperation with Mr Francoise De Jong followed by Mr Alexandru Floristean, the Legal & Project Manager presenting the main findings of the project. Most of the presentations are available on HyLaw Online Database. There are also available the numerous presentations from the national workshops held earlier in the Fall. Some of the partners’ companies presentations were also included to HyLaw workshop agenda. Three sessions with following panel discussions and the final conclusions by Mr Jorgo Chatzimarkakis from Hydrogen Europe made the seminar enjoyably informative and comprehensive.
One of the major target of HyLaw project has been compiling the database on legal situation and empasizing on the barriers hindering wider implementation of hydrogen in national economies. Partners worked on compiling the unified comprehensive database to have the comparable results from country to country. By today the databaseis completed and publicly available.
Conclusions for Estonia
The one-day seminar has been both extremely informing and teaching. The latest news in the HRS’s (Hydrogen Refueling Station) speedy spreading all over the Europe, also, the transport of hydrogen via pipelines. Administrative practices to introduce the legal framework in many economic sectors, also technical solutions in maritime, inland waterbodies, road transport, electricity generation, electrolysis, fuel cells various applications, etc. were included in 13 presentations.
For Estonia it is the ripe moment to take speedy start in HRS and creating the legal framework for hydrogen and fuel cells zero emmission applications. At present it is obviously one of the most efficient way to fight climate warming and move towards carbon-free economy.
During the seminar good contact with the director of Hydrogen Europe Dr Nicholas Brahy and the project coordinator Mr Alexandru Floristean hasbeen established. They very friendly asked the Estonian Association of Hydrogen Technologies to join the Europe-wide network. This is encouraging offer and our association will accept the invitation with great pleasure. Hopefully Estonia starts to be more seenable, also thanks to signing by our government representative the „The Hydrogen Initiative“ in Linz, Austria this Fall.
It is the most obvious that Estonia has today perfect option to catch the momentum and turn his economic sectors to the path of hydrogen society.