EurActiv— Existing gas networks should be repurposed to transport hydrogen and help boost demand, said Michał Kurtyka, Polish Minister of Climate and Environment at an online event about hydrogen in Central and Eastern Europe on Friday (12 February).
“We need to adapt the networks. We need to make sure that the already existing gas infrastructure will be adapted to also transport decarbonised gases, including hydrogen,” he said.
Hydrogen provides a way for coal-reliant Central and Eastern European countries to shift their industry away from fossil fuel. Analysis from the European Commission shows that every €1 billion of investment into renewable hydrogen leads to around 10,000 jobs along the supply chain, said Kadri Simson, the EU’s energy commissioner who spoke at the conference.
Poland is already the third largest producer of hydrogen in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. It has just adopted its energy plan for 2040 and wants one third of its electricity capacity to be green by 2030.
Poland has also launched a hydrogen strategy while Bulgaria has announced it will develop a national roadmap for hydrogen. Slovakia has established a centre for hydrogen technologies and Croatia is preparing a national programme for hydrogen market development.