A group of companies from countries including Greece and Romania have agreed to work on the establishment of the first hydrogen valley in Cyprus.
According to Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry George Papanastasiou, several companies in Cyprus have proposed pilot projects in different phases of development for the production of green hydrogen, mainly by using solar power.
A technical committee for hydrogen has been appointed to analyze the potential role of hydrogen in the domestic market and determine whether green hydrogen production would enhance the deployment of renewables. Speaking at an informal event on green hydrogen in Cyprus, the minister noted that the European Hydrogen Strategy has the ambition to reach 10 million tons in annual production by 2030. With last year’s REPowerEU initiative, the target was doubled to 20 million tons, though including imports.
A study produced with help from the European Commission has provided various possibilities for the introduction of hydrogen into the energy mix. Papanastasiou pointed to the production of cement and electricity as well as road, maritime and air transportation.
Plenty room is opening for hydrogen economy
In the meantime, 27 companies from Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands, Lebanon and Romania agreed to cooperate on the creation of a so-called hydrogen valley in the island state. The initiative was revealed by Chairman of the Cyprus Hydrogen Association Makis Ketonis, who said the group has numerous ideas for the production, use and processing of green hydrogen, the local media reported.
The hydrogen valley concept implies the creation of the entire value chain from production and storage to distribution to consumption. State aid is available for green hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis using renewable electricity, and low-carbon hydrogen overall, which includes the utilization of nuclear power.
Head of Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA or RAEK) Andreas Poulikkas estimated that by 2050 oil will have faded from the scene, with natural gas remaining in limited use. Hydrogen, however, will dominate various sectors including vehicles and aircraft, in his view.
First green hydrogen project in Cyprus won EU grant last year
Last year the European Union approved a EUR 4.5 million grant to the GreenH2CY consortium from the Innovation Fund. The project is envisaged to develop the capacity for the production of 150 tons of green hydrogen per year for transportation purposes. It includes plans for a storage facility and filling station.
The GreenH2CY group of companies aims to install electrolyzers for the production of 150 tons of green hydrogen per year for transportation purposes
As for the remainder of the region tracked by Balkan Green Energy News, Bulgarian natural gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz has just launched a pilot project for the production and use of green hydrogen.
But for the time being, almost all hydrogen is being produced directly from fossil fuels.