Following an invitation by the Athens based Institute of Alternative Policies (ENA) the chairman and Executive Director of IENE, Costis Stambolis, participated as moderator of one of the two sessions in this one day online event which took place on January 18 and sought to explore the role and applications of ” Green Hydrogen” in Greece and the broader SEE region.
Opening the second session of the Symposium, IENE’s chairman referred to “Green Hydrogen” as a much promising and vital part of the broad energy scene and cornerstone of the new energy landscape which is now being formed as the sector is gradually integrating clean fuel technologies in the energy mix. Dr. Andreas Poullikkas, Chairman of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, outlined his vision for a regional electricity market through expanded international interconnections where the introduction of hydrogen solutions could enhance further regional cooperation and help in achieving much lower emissions. Speaking in the same session Mr. Michael Verriopoulos, a civil engineer and ex–Secretary General of the Environment and Energy Ministry, pointed out the need in pursuing an inclusive energy policy at national level for “climate neutral fuels” where hydrogen has a very distinct role to play.
Dr.Nicholas Mantzaris, a chemical engineer and head of the Green Tank think tank stressed the need for a total revision of Greece’s National Energy and Climate plan so that hydrogen is included in the overall planning framework. Other contributors in this final session included Assistant Professor Dimitris Panayiotakopoulos from the University of Cranfield and Dr. Antonis Banos university of Bristol. John Efstathopoulos summed up the Symposium proceedings while further information and the conclusions of this well though out event below.
An online conference on ” Possibilities and prospects from the use of green hydrogen ” was organized by the Institute of Alternative Policies ENA on Monday, January 18th.
The John Efstathopoulos, Coordinator of the Sustainable Development Observatory of ENA, initially presented the new Round of Events of ENA on “Technology & Social Needs in Climate & Digital Transition”, which was inaugurated with the conference on hydrogen. The aim of the Circle is to participate in the public debate and to highlight a progressive agenda regarding the energy, climate and digital transition, by informing the public by experts and scholars with significant knowledge of the individual reference topics. In this context, the exchange of ideas, approaches and good international practices is not limited to “what is technologically feasible” but to what is “technologically feasible and socially necessary” and how this can be achieved in a sustainable, balanced and socially just way.
” Is hydrogen the alternative fuel for combating energy poverty and achieving energy security?” Under what conditions? »Was the topic-question of the first Session of the day, moderated by Nikolaos Farantouris , Professor of the European Chair Jean Monnet of the Department of International & European Studies, University of Piraeus. “In order to understand energy and hydrogen by extension, they need to be approached interdisciplinary. We want the findings of science to lead us to conclusions about social needs and the protection of the environment and that is ultimately what is required, “said Mr. Farantouris.
Sophocles Makridis , Associate Professor of the Department of Environmental Engineering at the University of Patras and Director of the Laboratory of Environmental Physics & Hydrogen Technologies , stated that “Emphasizing that” political action is needed, not ‘theories’, to transform every home or application with a real zero carbon footprint. ” He added that “the English term, but with Greek roots,” Hydrogen Energy Autarky “(” hydrogen energy self-sufficiency “) is absolutely possible for Greece.”
Vassilis Igglezakis , an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, said that the debate over hydrogen has been going on for a decade and that a political decision on its strategy and public funding has already been made. Scotland and Renewable Energy Sources for Hydrogen Production. “Scotland produces more than 90% of its electricity from RES and the 100% target is very close,” he said, noting that the hydrogen sector would receive 100 100m in government funding over the next five years, estimating that the economy of the country will benefit 25 billion pounds a year by 2045.
The prospects of the hydrogen economy and its contribution to issues of energy poverty and energy security were analyzed by Dimitris Triantaphyllopoulos, Director of New Energy Solutions of the Sustainable Development Projects Sector of MYTILINEOS. In particular, he said that hydrogen could play an important role in reducing energy poverty and increasing energy security “under certain conditions, gradually and in conjunction with existing fuels and energy carriers”. Mr. Triantaphyllopoulos referred to the latest trends in green hydrogen production, while analyzing how hydrogen can be an additional element in developing sustainable solutions and further reducing the environmental footprint in a wide range of activities of the MYTILINEOS group of companies. “When we talk about green hydrogen production we are no longer talking about theoretical discussions, there are too many projects being designed and implemented in Europe.”
The Energy Engineer-Engineer, WWF Hellas Energy Policy Officer, Dimitris Tsekeris, stressed that “energy transition can be successful when planned together with society, to ensure that no one is left behind, ie new inequalities will not be created, with the cost of transition always being considered weight “. He pointed out that “the climate crisis requires us to move forward without fossil fuels immediately, while energy savings must be at the forefront, combined with the proper location of RES which have an increased economic footprint (eg direct and indirect jobs) in relation to fossil fuels “. He went on to add that renewable hydrogen could help achieve climate neutrality in targeted areas that are difficult to carbonize or require increased autonomy. Mr.
The topic of the second session was ” Development prospects and applications of high socio-economic value of hydrogen in Greece, Cyprus and internationally “, moderated by the President of the Energy Institute of Southeast Europe (IENE) Kostis Stampolis, who stated that “hydrogen is part energy becoming and the creation of the new energy landscape “.
The President of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, Dr. Andreas Poulikkas, presented the strategies for the country’s transition to the hydrogen economy, with three axes: a) the EU energy strategy until 2050, b) the transition of the island energy systems and c) the long-term energy strategy of Cyprus for the transition to hydrogen economy. Among other things, for the energy transition of the interconnected islands, he stressed the need to ensure the reduction of security costs of energy supply, the completion of the EU internal energy market and the increase of socio-economic benefits. For the Southeastern Mediterranean region, he said “natural gas, wind and solar potential could be combined to produce hydrogen.” Finally, Mr. Poullikkas referred to the possibility of drawing up a regional energy strategy until 2060,
The Civil Engineer, former Secretary General of Energy & Mineral Raw Materials at the Ministry of Environment & Energy, Michalis Verriopoulos , stressed the need “for the elaboration of a comprehensive strategy of the State for the development of the so-called” Climate Neutral Fuels “which includes” This strategy, he continued, “should be based on policy measures and promote investments that increase added value for Greece. “Overall this can be better achieved through a decentralized sustainable model of production and consumption of biomethane-hydrogen and synthetic fuels with strong local acceptance and respect for the highest standards of safety, environmental protection and overall sustainability.”
The Nikos Mantzaris , Dr. Chemical Engineer, from The Green Tank Environmental Think Tank,underlined the key role of green hydrogen in achieving the goal of climate neutrality, giving a brief overview of the degree of maturity of hydrogen technologies for use in various sectors of the economy. Stressed the need for an immediate revision of the ESEC (National Energy and Climate Plan) to make it compatible with increased climate ambition at EU level, which leads to de facto increased RES and energy storage targets, while necessitating the development and He also proposed the synchronization of the revised ESEC with the emerging national hydrogen strategy and the Fair Development Plan in the country’s lignite areas, in terms of hydrogen penetration ,
Dimitris Panagiotakopoulos , Associate Professor at the University of Cranfield (Head of Future Air Mobility, Electric hybrid / hydrogen Unmanned Vehicles) , set three specific dimensions of development and high socio-economic value of hydrogen applications:
- It allows the full utilization of RES and the transformation of the economy into a producer and exporter of energy, minimizing or eliminating Greece’s dependence on imports of electricity, oil and gas, with a benefit of 10 billion euros per year.
- It allows the transformation of the transport sector and the utilization of new applications, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (whose European demand is estimated at 10 billion euros per year in 2035 and over 15 billion in 2050) and hydropower aircraft. The introduction of these autonomous aviation systems can easily be done in an island complex to optimize medical delivery functions and accelerate emergency responses. Such applications are useful in remote, but also in mainland areas, and can help facilitate and accelerate the energy transition. Also, in the near future, most domestic flights will be able to be operated by hydrogen-powered aircraft, a technology that will be in effect by 2027, with air taxis already available from 2025.
- It favors innovative technologies (eg aerospace hydrogen industry) and pioneering job opportunities with a clear vision of contribution, encouraging the younger generation to operate in these areas and stay in Greece, minimizing the brain drain estimated to cost GDP 12.9 billion . euro. Providing them with a vision and common goal that they can contribute to society and the environment, ensuring that they can have a future in high-skill areas in the renewable hydrogen economy and intelligent systems such as aviation mobility.
The Research Associate (Head of hydrogen – Interface Analysis Center) at the University of Bristol, Antonis Banos, in his presentation, among other things, mentioned the production of hydrogen through nuclear energy and storage using “reformed” waste. “In the field of nuclear energy, with the production of hydrogen, with the use of heat or electricity and its storage through the use of ‘reformed’ waste, we create energy profit from by-products and unused materials.” He went on to stress that “fighting climate change requires a ‘brave’ shift to clean energy and increasing the efficiency of our energy systems”, adding that “globally, nuclear energy and RES along with production and use hydrogen will be a big part of the solution. ” For Greece, Mr.
Summing up, at the end of the day, Giannis Efstathopoulos highlighted four main conclusions:
- The examples from the international experience presented confirm that more applicable technologies of high socio-economic value are available which can cover important needs of the Greek economy and society (optimal utilization of domestic RES potential, applications in isolated / island areas, green shipping, etc.). λπ.)
- Hydrogen meets a number of criteria that can make it state-of-the-art technology for climate and energy transition : environmental and climate criteria (contributing to climate neutrality), developmental and economic criteria (reducing energy costs, improving energy balance, industrial balance) , contribution to employment and the retention and utilization of domestic scientific potential / brain gain), social criteria (combating energy poverty, strengthening spatial cohesion) and geopolitical criteria (contributing to energy security and autonomy)
- Utilizing the potential of hydrogen to achieve climate change goals in fair conditions requires the formulation of an integrated national strategy and the revision of national planning . This strategy is called, inter alia, to create an appropriate institutional framework for hydrogen, to identify applications to be supported in the transport sector, to resolve issues related to the location and safety of infrastructure, to strengthen domestic R&D to address of technological challenges and to form appropriate incentives for the utilization of hydrogen in the industrial and agricultural sector, but also by local authorities.
- Hydrogen, like RES, can be a field of partnerships between EU countries and the Southeastern Mediterranean , creating the conditions for joint projects with strong and mutual economic benefits, conditions of geopolitical stability and cooperation, achieving climate goals and protecting biodiversity.