18 Slovenian organisations join forces to establish a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem

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On 15 March, 18 Slovenian companies, organisations and municipalities signed a consortium agreement for establishing a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem.

Their efforts for the cross-sector integration in establishing the value chain of hydrogen from low-carbon sources in Slovenia were also supported by several Ministries and the. Slovenian Japanese Business Council.

According to a press statement, the consortium is probably the biggest one established in Slovenia so far, as it has access to more than 6,500 experts from various fields and decades of experience in industrial engineering.

The director of the country’s transmission and distribution system operator ELES, Aleksander Mervar, said that a year and a half had passed since he expressed his intention to form a consortium for hydrogen technologies in Slovenia, for which he would like to find a Japanese partner who could apply for grants from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO).

“My idea after visiting Tokyo in November 2022 was based on activities consisting of several steps,” he recalled. “First, a strong Slovenian consortium should be assembled to partner with a potential Japanese partner, who should apply for the NEDO funds. The next step is signing the agreement with the Japanese partner. The final step is the implementation of one or more demonstration projects. As of today, the intermediate step that began last June is over with the signing of the consortium agreement.”

The promotion of hydrogen technologies and the integration of hydrogen into the future energy system is, of course, also supported by the State whose representatives emphasised the importance of hydrogen as a vector that we need to be able to use excess electricity from distributed renewable energy sources and strengthen cross-sector cooperation and ensure a successful green transition and fulfilment of commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy Bojan Kumer underlined the vital role of hydrogen in the coming decades, especially in decarbonising the economy. He highlighted the cross-border project of the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley, which can significantly contribute to the development of the hydrogen industry.

“New technologies, especially those related to hydrogen, are a key building block for an effective fight against climate change,” he added.

On this occasion, the Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han emphasised the importance of the energy independence of the European Union and Slovenia.

“If ever, the European Union needs a strong industry now,” he pointed out. “But for this to work, we also need reliable and sufficient energy sources. Energy independence is even more important in times of geopolitical instability. At the same time, for the sake of our planet, we must think in the direction of green energy as much as possible. And hydrogen is one of the key elements in the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, both in energy-intensive industry and in transport.”

The consortium can support the formation of the hydrogen ecosystem by providing infrastructure for demonstration projects, the electricity grid for the transmission and distribution of low-carbon energy, the transmission and distribution gas grid for blending hydrogen with natural gas, electricity generation and storage systems, hydrogen users and other vital resources. However, according to ELES, it still lacks a partner with hydrogen equipment manufacturing capabilities, including hydrogen production, storage, transportation equipment, equipment for utilisation and end-use and technical expertise that could help the hydrogen ecosystem become a reality.

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