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Austria: Carinthia Launches Hydrogen Initiative

By July 24, 2019 4   min read  (811 words)

July 24, 2019 |

Carinthia Hydrogen

LR Schuschnig invited Austria’s leading experts to the 1st Carinthian Hydrogen Summit

Klagenfurt (LPD)The chances of using green hydrogen as a sustainable form of energy for mobility and industry were discussed today, Tuesday, at the invitation of Economic and Mobility Councilor Sebastian Schuschnig together with State Councilor Martin Gruber during the first Carinthia Hydrogen Summit and further measures for Carinthia were discussed. 

With the participation of Austria and internationally renowned experts in the field of hydrogen technology and renowned companies from industry and commerce, the many applications of hydrogen were discussed in a broad discussion at this expert meeting. With this kick-off the “Carinthian Hydrogen Initiative” was started. Two hydrogen cars were also presented on this occasion.

“The first Carinthian hydrogen summit shows that the time has come for the use of hydrogen and this energy storage can play a key role in the mobility and energy transition in Carinthia, which requires a broad network of all partners who want to contribute something” Schuschnig said. Because in the future – as the speeches and lectures of the experts emphasize – there will be a broad drive mix. Carinthia was an Austrian pioneer in electric mobility, which is already gaining a foothold in households and in public transport, thereby improving the ecological footprint of transport. “But research and technology development does not stop there, so I want Carinthia to be a pioneer in hydrogen as well,” continued Schuschnig.

Road construction consultant LR Martin Gruber is also convinced of the importance of this initiative: “To make a contribution to climate protection and to promote sustainable forms of drive and energy is one of the most important challenges that we can only solve together in the interests of future generations.” This concerns both the traffic and the economy and the industry, adds Schuschnig. Hydrogen can be used in many areas and is CO2-neutral if it is produced using renewable energies. “For the Carinthian initiative, the main idea is the production of hydrogen from renewable energy.” The use of green hydrogen in mobility and industry – ie the production by electrolysis from sustainably produced electricity – is also the goal we pursue with the Carinthian initiative.

Traffic is currently the most polluting sector in Austria, with a share of 46 percent of total emissions. By 2030, of the current 22.9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, around 7.2 million tonnes of CO2 are to be reduced. In addition, billions of fines are threatened if Austria and Carinthia miss the climate targets. “But not only transport is affected by this, and for the economy and industry too, the reduction in the use of sustainable energy is one of the most important tasks of the future,” Schuschnig points out. “Carinthia already produces more than half of its energy and almost 100 percent of its electricity needs in sustainable production – mostly from hydropower – and thus has the best prerequisites to lead the way.

“The goal of the declaration signed today is that we jointly declare our commitment to further strengthen and accelerate the Hydrogen Initiative in Carinthia,” said Schuschnig. In public transport, the many development and application possibilities of hydrogen will be developed, the development of the necessary tank infrastructure will be developed, and transnational partnerships for test facilities and test tracks will also be set up. In the coming months, Carinthia will also develop a nationwide hydrogen strategy on a scientific basis in cooperation with the non-university hydrogen research company HyCentA GmbH of Graz University of Technology for Carinthia. “This study will capture the knowledge of the partners involved, and we need a clear plan which makes sense and is feasible in Carinthia. For this we will find out on a scientific basis, in which areas the chances of hydrogen are greatest for Carinthia, “said Schuschnig.

The essential basis for the hydrogen initiative is the Austria-wide hydrogen strategy, which was developed under the leadership of Elisabeth Köstinger at the Ministry of Sustainability. “If today the” Austrian Climate and Energy Fund “confirms hydrogen as a true all-rounder in energy policy, then we know that we are not only on the right track, but it also shows that more and more partners and institutions are taking this route throughout Austria, so that Austria can become hydrogen nation No. 1. We want to make our contribution in Carinthia, “said Schuschnig.

Among the participants today were the renowned non-university research institution HyCentA of Graz University of Technology, H2 Südtirol – Institute for Innovative Technologies Bolzano, on the part of industry and industry, the Chamber of Commerce of Carinthia, the Federation of Austrian Carinthia, Infineon, Siemens and Tribotecc. The energy industry included Verbund, OMV and Kelag. Of the transport and mobility companies, ÖBB, Postbus, Hyundai Austria, Klagenfurt Mobil GmbH and the Verkehrsverbund Kärnten participated. Other partners who want to actively participate in the hydrogen initiative are the Großglockner Hochalpenstraßen AG, the Holding Graz and the ÖAMTC.

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