40 lighthouse projects at locations around the world, one common goal: the promotion of hydrogen as a sustainable link between energy and mobility.
The economics ministers of Europe, China, Australia, the USA and several South American countries have come together under the aegis of the EU Commission to form “Mission Innovation” in order to set up and support exemplary projects in their respective countries.
Among these, particularly successful projects, so-called flagships, were selected: These are now accompanied more intensively in order to gain valuable insights for other countries and projects.
The Hydrogen Valley South Tyrol is one of these selected projects. “It is a great honor that South Tyrol has been selected as an international lighthouse project for hydrogen”, emphasizes Governor Arno Kompscher. “The timing also fits perfectly with our programs: The corona crisis is putting all areas of the local economy and every one of us to the test. This crisis must result in a new start for us and worldwide, which must be as sustainable as possible right from the start. And hydrogen, I am convinced – will play an important role in this. ”
The South Tyrolean “Hydrogen Valley” consists of three stages: After the first successful EU pilot projects “CHIC” and “HyFIVE” in the field of electric fuel cell buses and cars, South Tyrol is currently in phase 2: Via those supported by the South Tyrolean government and the EU Projects “Mehrlin,” JIVE “and” LIFEalps “will implement the regional roll-out, ie the infrastructures for battery and hydrogen mobility will be expanded, several vehicle fleets will be brought onto the streets to provide emission-free services in various areas, e.g. in local public transport or in tourism to crank up.
“It is important that regional development is coordinated and done strategically. That is why a cross-departmental hydrogen plan for South Tyrol and in close cooperation with the neighboring provinces for the whole Euregio is currently being drawn up, which is based on the South Tyrolean wealth of experience in recent years. The aim is to make public and private mobility not only efficient but also as emission-free as possible, ”adds Mobility State Councilor Daniel Alfreider.
Regional expansion is followed by national and international expansion in the third and final phase. And this is where South Tyrol’s geographic location comes into play: the Brenner Corridor connects Central Europe with Italy and is therefore particularly heavily (heavily) traffic-laden. Relieving this burden and making it as emission-free as possible is the goal of phase 3, in which the Brennerautobahn AG will also play an important role: “It is no coincidence that the Brennerautobahn in particular invested in hydrogen at a time when this was still strange and was considered bizarre, ”recalls Carlo Costa, Technical Director-General of the Brenner Autobahn.
“Contrary to what many people think, it is not the highway that pollutes the environment, but the vehicles. On the other hand, what a motorway can do, and what we have already done and will continue to do, is to promote zero-emission mobility: we already have a stable network of charging stations for battery-electric vehicles and we are now planning to add more hydrogen filling stations open and thus make the Brenner Corridor the first green corridor in Europe. We expect a lot from the trucks in particular, ”added Costa.
The concept for the “Hydrogen Valley South Tyrol” was developed by the Institute for Innovative Technologies (IIT) in cooperation with the Brenner motorway and Alperia – an important domestic energy supplier is also on board: “We want renewable energy for all forms of electromobility and everyone Bring vehicle categories onto the road and will therefore continue to engage us to a greater extent in the field of hydrogen, ”said Johann Wohlfahrter, General Director of Alperia.
This close cooperation between local politicians, motorway operators, and the local energy industry in a coherent and long-term concept was one of the criteria why the project from “small South Tyrol” was now chosen as a model and know-how supplier worldwide.