"JEŻECH NA WODŌR!" - THE REGIONAL ENERGY FORUM OF THE SILESIAN VOIVODSHIP
“Jeżech na wodōr!” (Silesian: I’m on hydrogen!) – this slogan perfectly summarizes the Regional Energy Forum of the Silesian Voivodeship organized by the Office of the Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship.
I had the honor of contributing to the organization and course of this event, which brought together representatives of local government, academia, and business! As a member of the Network of Experts of the European Commission – Team Europe Direct – I moderated two panels on regional cooperation for the development of the hydrogen economy and the prospects for hydrogen transport in Silesia.
The Forum was a chance to witness that hydrogen is no longer a fuel of the future but an everyday reality in more cities, i.e. Rybnik, where hydrogen buses are transporting passengers on public transportation, or in Gaj Olawski, where the third hydrogen station in Poland is under construction!
The participants of the Forum could see how comfortably (and quietly) these Rybnik hydrogen cars travel. There was also ARP E-Vehicles Sp. z o.o., who presented their PILEAH2 bus model! In discussions with invited speakers and presenters from, among others, the Silesian University of Technology, the WKlaster Energy and Hydrogen Association, the Lower Silesian Hydrogen Valley, VSB – Technical University of Ostrava and the Silesian-Malopolska Hydrogen Valley, we were able to reflect together on the determinants of the development of the hydrogen economy, including the spread of this fuel in transportation, hence my sincere thanks for those expert voices of yours!
Undoubtedly, during the Forum, it resounded strongly that the European Union is making a significant contribution to increasing the role of hydrogen in transportation, as exemplified by the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy, and with it:
– Renewable Energy Directive (RED III)
– CO₂ emission standards for cars and vans
– The soon-to-be-available “Roadmap for Hydrogen Valleys”,
– or the regulation on alternative fuel infrastructure
Forum participants were also able to receive specific information on raising funds from institutions with funds for transport decarbonization, including NFOŚIGW under the “Green Public Transport” program.
I think I will remember for a long time the speech of the representative of SBB ENERGY S.A., who made an assessment of the possibilities for the development of low-carbon hydrogen infrastructure, using the example of the Promet-Plast investment in Gaj Olawski, pointing out critical directions of change, for example, within the regulatory framework.
The Forum also hosted a team of experts from the Center for Climate and Energy Analysis (CAKE), who presented models for the further development of the hydrogen economy and the demand for hydrogen fuel in Poland! Let’s hope these positive scenarios come true sooner than expected. I believe that the cooperation of local government, academia, and business in the hydrogen economy and decarbonization of the transportation sector will contribute to achieving climate neutrality!