On 5 October 2023, the Green Hysland project organized its 3rd workshop “Setting up Hydrogen Valleys in Europe: from theory to practice” on the Island of Vlieland, one out of the four islands representing the Province of Fryslân (NL), located on the north.
The aim of the workshop was to provide theoretical understanding and practical tips on hydrogen valleys and how to set them up. The workshop showcased successful examples of hydrogen valleys developed in different European countries and provided tailormade support from experts in the field.
The workshop commenced with an introduction by Christian Galleta from FEDARENE, followed by our members and co-organisers of the workshops: Province of Fryslân, represented by Albert Ruiter. As the introductions were made, The European Commission representatives, Matthijs Soede and Pietro CALOPRISCO, started setting the scene with insights into the Hydrogen Valleys’ concept and the Mission Innovation Hydrogen Valley Platform.
If, on one hand, Pietro Caloprisco from Clean Hydrogen Partnership emphasized the significance of projects like Green Hysland in showcasing the viability of clean hydrogen technologies, Matthijs Soede, director of the Mission Innovation Platform, based his presentation on the importance of collaboration.
“(…) the power of collaboration, work and learn together, who are your partners and understand what in they are investing (…) try to speak and listen with each other, play the same music.”Matthijs Soede , Director of the Mission Innovation Platform
Four hydrogen valley projects were showcased, featuring Tatiana Block (Enercy), Geerte de Jong (HEAVENN, Program Manage), Indalecio Gonzalez (Asturias Hydrogen Valley, Spain). The speakers shared experiences, challenges, and the importance of finding a balance in project development.
Tatiana Block, senior hydrogen project engineer at Enercy – project partner-, presented the Green Hysland project’s deployment of a hydrogen ecosystem on the Island of Mallorca.
“Why this project”? In islands there is a high enterprise in tourism. As a great part of the sector was closing, a lot of jobs were at risk urging a boost for the local economy. It was in this context that hydrogen development came as an opportunity and a solution, from its production to the whole value chain. She explained the trajectory predicted and highlighted the estimated climate impact: decarbonisation, social-economical boost, generation of employment, and more so, the whole value chain of green hydrogen harnessed through solar panels. The speaker added that one of the main activities of this project is to be able to share this knowledge to similar settings and went on to the idea before brought by bringing her thanks to all collaborators of the project, and the importance on the idea brough before hand by Matthijs Soede on the importance on that collaboration.
Geerte de Jong brought to the conversation the project “HEAVENN: Hydrogen Energy Applications for Valley Environments in the Northern Netherlands”.
As the foreseen stop of the gas production, the region saw an opportunity and solution on the green hydrogen, as an industry to keep the economy and jobs on the region, while reusing industry pipelines and expertise. The goal was to create an integrated hydrogen infrastructure, a value chain. On a four-years’ experience was brought on some insightful presentations: lessons learnt, challenges to avoid, technical information and opportunities.
You need to find a balance building beautiful and unique and realising the challenges that come with the project. (…) EU funding can be both a blessing and a curse, you need to be aware that it means a lot of news, reporting, insights in results. It is fair but needs awareness.Geerte de Jong, HEAVENN, Program Manager
Next speaker to take the floor was Elina Mäki, the Project manager from Gasgrid, working on the hydrogen development in Finland, which started June 2023. Although at the beginning of their journey, this valley project called, Baltic Sea Hydrogen, is one of the first ones going on an interregional scale. It aimed to demonstrate the hydrogen economy around the Baltic Sea region with a large border hydrogen valley. One of the main benefits for the system is to bring to the sectors cost-efficiency.
“We believe that with the hydrogen valley and with different solutions we can help to decarbonise different sectors including heating, electricity and gas.”Elina Mäki, Gasgrid, Project manager
For the last presentation of this morning session, Indalecio Gonzalez (FAEN) presenting and representing Asturias Hydrogen Valley, in Spain.
The region’s energy transition, coupled with existing infrastructure advantages, offers a fertile ground for hydrogen projects. Furthermore, Asturias serves as a vital node in the Spanish hydrogen pipeline. The regional strategy focuses on boosting low-emission hydrogen production, integrating hydrogen into existing facilities like the regasification plant El Musel, and promoting pilot projects across various sectors, including industry and transport.
As the region charts its energy transition, these initiatives position Asturias at the forefront of the hydrogen revolution, fostering economic growth with environmental stewardship.
The second part of the workshop focused on practical applications and networking. It included an introduction to the Hydrogen Territories Platform and the HTP Tool, presented by Aitor Sanzo and Teresa Villuendas from the Aragon Hydrogen Foundation. The HTP tool’s practical application was demonstrated through a case study perspective, highlighting its collaboration with a follower territory of the Green Hysland project.
The event concluded with a ‘speed dating’, meaning to create a networking environment for interested stakeholders, where participants had the opportunity to present their hydrogen projects and engage in discussions facilitated by hydrogen valley experts.
The 3rd Green Hysland workshop successfully achieved its goal of providing theoretical understanding and practical insights into setting up Hydrogen Valleys. The event emphasized collaboration, showcased case studies, and provided a platform for networking among stakeholders in the hydrogen sector.
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