Serbia’s draft hydrogen strategy should be prepared by the summer, followed by a public debate. The plan is to give hydrogen a significant role in the development of the new energy development strategy, which will start soon.
The draft outline of Serbia’s hydrogen strategy envisages the installation of 10 MW of electrolysis facilities using renewable energy by 2025, and 100 MW by 2030. It was prepared by a working group called the Hydrogen Team, comprising representatives of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute Mihajlo Pupin, business association Elektromašinogradnja, which gathers 13 Serbian companies, the company WES-CO Power and Engineering, and several experts.
The floating platform would be located on the Danube or Sava rivers
Zoran Ilić, assistant minister of mining and energy, announced the first plant for the production of hydrogen is planned to be built in the vicinity of the Sava or Danube rivers.
It would be a floating mobile platform with 110 hydrogen tanks of 50 cubic meters each and facilities for the production of electricity – wind or solar power plants, with up to 3 MW in total capacity, he revealed at Serbia’s Hydrogen Strategy conference, organized by the Hydrogen Team and the Energija Balkana news website.
The platform would span half a hectare, according to Ilić. He said hydrogen would be produced via electrolysis, from water, and that it would be possible to purify the water that is used, which gives the entire project an ecological dimension. The platform will be made entirely of wood, he underscored.
Ilić added the new energy laws envisage the production of hydrogen as one of the activities in the energy sector.
The goal is for the strategy to be not just another strategy but to result in new production facilities
Radivoje Mitrović, dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, said the current Energy Sector Development Strategy can be also called a coal strategy because energy production is based on the fossil fuel. Now times are changing dramatically, and one of the new challenges is hydrogen, he stressed.
The goal for Serbia is not only to get a good strategic document on hydrogen and stop there, which often happens, but to have hydrogen production facilities from which taxpayers would benefit greatly, Mitrović said.
Talks are underway with the World Bank on financing the development of a new energy development strategy
One of the shortcomings of the academic community is the poor conversion of research results into new products and technologies, and it must change, he pointed out, adding that the Ministry of Mining and Energy is in talks with the World Bank on financing the development of a new energy development strategy.
The aim is not to get involved in long-term discussions about hydrogen, but to quickly come up with an action-based strategy that will give results in the short term, but also in the medium and long term, which means production plants, new technologies and products, Mitrović opined.
The hydrogen strategy will contain specific projects ready to be nominated for funding
“I call on everyone to do everything we can to come up with a draft hydrogen strategy before the summer,” he said.
The idea of the Hydrogen Team leader Miljan Vuksanović is to incorporate specific projects in the hydrogen strategy that would be ready to apply for funding.
The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering will support hydrogen development through the creation of professional staff, which may be the first step that should be taken, Mitrović said. He added its programs would be innovated in order to get top engineers that are competitive with peers in the most developed countries.
Now the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering has two laboratories – for hydrogen corrosion and fuel cells, which cooperate with the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, the dean noted.
Vuksanović: Necessary to implement the transition with an active role for the domestic economy and scientific institutions
The experiences of other countries confirm that the hydrogen transition is inevitable, said Miljan Vuksanović, leader of the Hydrogen Team and vice president of WES-CO Power and Engineering.
He said the authors of the hydrogen strategy have a task to enable implementation with an active role for the domestic economy and scientific institutions.
“The hydrogen transition strategy will be a product of cooperation between the industry, investors and the state administration. It will be concise and pragmatic, with a possibility to control its implementation. It will also include 50 projects and programs and the targets for 2023, 2030, 2050. We plan to finish it in the third quarter and make it available to the public,” Vuksanović said.
The domestic industry is interested in participating in the development of the hydrogen strategy
Milenko Nikolić, general manager of Institut Mihajlo Pupin – Automatika (IMP Automation & Control Systems Ltd.) and executive board chairman at Elektromašinogradnja association, said the development of the hydrogen strategy is of vital interest for domestic companies.
He said the members of the association are involved in the overhaul of coal-fired power plants and that the facilities would be shutting down in the coming years, leaving the firms without the market segment.
The second reason is education as it is very important for Serbia to have workers that are skilled in hydrogen technologies, Nikolić added.