Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley has been established

Date of posting: 2022-02-25

On 25 February 2022 in the Conference Centre "Wroclaw Industrial Park" on the initiative of the Industrial Development Agency JSC the Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley was established. The main business partner of the project is KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. The event was attended among others by Ireneusz Zyska Secretary of State, Government Plenipotentiary for Renewable Energy Sources, persons connected with business, scientific and local government environment of both regions. IDA JSC was represented by its Vice-President Paweł Kolczyński, and KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. Adam Bugajczuk, Vice President for Development.

The aim of the 'Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley' Association is to support the development of the hydrogen economy, with particular emphasis on the area of the Lower Silesian voivodship and neighbouring voivodships.

Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley will use the research and development potential of the region to undertake, among others, innovative scientific, technological, industrial ventures and investment projects aimed at building common hydrogen economy value chains.

Moreover, through its activities, Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley will promote pro-ecological attitudes, especially among entrepreneurs and local communities.

- The role of hydrogen in the economy, especially its potential for decarbonisation of industry, heating and transport, is growing. Including hydrogen technology in national development policy, improving it, building competence and creating Polish export products is a strategic challenge and requires a supply chain approach. Shortening the distance between centres of supply and demand, integrating sectors, finding business partners and optimising processes and costs are the specific opportunities we gain by creating hydrogen valleys - evaluates Deputy Minister Ireneusz Zyska.

Hydrogen valleys are tailored to specific regional conditions and overall project objectives, so there is no single universal model.

To speak of a hydrogen valley, however, four key conditions should be met:

  • large scale - a hydrogen valley consists of many smaller projects, which should go beyond standard pilot and demonstration activities and have a significant budget,
  • strong value chain - the hydrogen valley should have common infrastructure for production, storage and distribution using different modes of transport,
  • supply to more than one economic sector - hydrogen is used in many economic sectors (e.g. chemicals, steel, transport, energy, etc.
  • a defined geographical dimension - a regional ecosystem should include activities at local and regional level (e.g. ports and their hinterland) with national or international coverage.

- For IDA it is important to develop ways and mechanisms to "hydrogenise" the technological and production processes of industry, especially in the context of their high energy intensity. We want to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley. We hope that the association will be a reservoir of data and knowledge allowing to support projects e.g. when establishing a special purpose vehicle for a given project. We see an opportunity for hydrogen transfer to and from Germany especially in the context of the potential of our industrial parks in Lower Silesia: Kobierzyce or Ząbkowice Śląskie - says Cezariusz Lesisz, president of Industrial Development Agency JSC.

- We are optimistic and hopeful about hydrogen and its use in our divisions or as a form of energy storage. We believe that using it as a fuel and reducer in smelter furnaces may, in the future, allow for the production of copper, silver and other metals in a completely emission-free way. Before this can happen, however, it is necessary to build a whole ecosystem and infrastructure for a hydrogen economy in the region. We are all the more pleased with this initiative and the creation of the Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley - adds Adam Bugajczuk, KGHM's Vice President for Development.

There are currently 36 hydrogen valleys worldwide, 20 of which are in Europe. According to the "Polish Hydrogen Strategy until 2030", which was adopted by the government in November 2021, at least 5 hydrogen valleys are being created in Poland. And according to the "EU Hydrogen Strategy" of 2020, Polish hydrogen valleys are to be part of the European Hydrogen Ecosystem. The Polish Hydrogen Valleys Innovation Ecosystem is to include innovative industrial ventures and large-scale long-term investment projects to be implemented within a specific geographical area.

The Industrial Development Agency JSC is involved in works aimed at creating 4 hydrogen valleys in Poland. These are: Sub-Carpatian Hydrogen Valley, Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley, Mazowian Hydrogen Valley and Silesian-Lesser Polish Hydrogen Valley. The Katowice Branch of the Industrial Development Agency also runs a newly created national hydrogen portal h2poland.eu where one may find information concerning, inter alia, the development of hydrogen valleys in Poland.

IDA JSC is among the initiators of the creation of the Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley. In June 2021 in Kobierzyce near Wrocław representatives of the IDA JSC took part in a meeting on the initiative to establish this hydrogen valley.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, Lower Silesian universities, business entities and innovators. Representatives of science presented the concept of creating in Wrocław the first in Poland and one of few in Europe academic "Green Transformation Centre". During the meeting the IDA JSC representatives indicated that innovative solutions in the field of energy and transport are already present in Lower Silesia, an example of which is Euro-Park Kobierzyce, where the LG Energy Solution company manufactures lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.

- IDA JSC sees an opportunity not only in electromobility, but also in hydrogen mobility, and is involved in the promotion of various solutions based on the use of hydrogen. Moreover, in the IDA Capital Group there are companies which manufacture emission-free means of transport and also produce many devices which can be used in the whole supply chain of the hydrogen economy. Noteworthy are the plans to use the potential of two industrial parks of IDA JSC, i.e. Euro-Park Kobierzyce and Euro-Park Ząbkowice Śląskie, which is in the process of being established. In both cases locating hydrogen technology demonstrators on their premises is considered, as well as using their potential to receive hydrogen produced in the valley - summarizes Paweł Kolczyński, Vice President of IDA JSC.

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