In a groundbreaking endeavor supported by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, the Northern Adriatic Hydrogen Valley (NAHV) project has set its sights on becoming Europe’s leading hub for green hydrogen production and innovation. This ambitious initiative, spanning 72 months, unites three partner countries—Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia—in a concerted effort to create a competitive market for green hydrogen.
The NAHV project officially kicked off in September 2023, under the framework of Horizon Europe. With a generous grant of €25 million from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, this transnational initiative is composed of a coalition of 37 organizations, including businesses, universities, research institutes, and public bodies. The project is spearheaded by HSE, Slovenia’s primary electricity producer and a major player in renewable energy generation.
At its core, the NAHV project encompasses the entire renewable hydrogen value chain. It starts with production, extending to storage, distribution, and end-use applications in vital sectors such as industry, and land and sea transportation. This comprehensive approach positions the NAHV as a catalyst for accelerating the transition to renewable energy, with a special focus on critical sectors like industry, energy, and transport. The Horizon Europe Seal of Excellence recognizes the NAHV project’s pivotal role in advancing the renewable energy agenda.
The primary goal of the NAHV initiative is to establish a competitive market for green hydrogen, involving key stakeholders from the three partner countries. The project is set to develop 17 pilot projects aimed at producing up to 5,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen annually from green energy sources. Notably, approximately 20% of this green hydrogen will be exchanged among the participating countries, laying the foundation for a robust regional hydrogen market.
Furthermore, the NAHV partnership will introduce cutting-edge hydrogen technologies while nurturing the development of skills and infrastructure, aligning with the objectives of the European Green Deal.
The implementation of NAHV activities is expected to drive additional investments estimated at over €300 million in renewable hydrogen-related technologies. These investments are targeted at expanding the production, storage, transmission, and utilization capacities of green hydrogen. Funding is anticipated from both public and private sources, during the project’s execution and through subsequent investments in the 17 pilot projects spread across the three involved countries.
Moreover, the project’s ambitious scope will necessitate the development of new skills and capabilities. Partner universities and research institutes will play a pivotal role in crafting and disseminating new educational programs, contributing to job creation as a direct outcome of the NAHV initiative.
Tomaž Štokelj, CEO of HSE, emphasizes the significance of green hydrogen in Slovenia’s green transition. He envisions hydrogen as a cornerstone energy source for the future, aligning with national targets and the European Green Deal objectives. His optimism extends to the fruitful collaboration ahead within the NAHV project.
Massimiliano Fedriga, President of the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia, underscores the importance of combining economic growth, sustainability, and public health. NAHV presents an ambitious cross-border initiative intended to strengthen transnational cooperation and cater to the needs of local communities.
In the words of Stephen Taylor, strategic coordinator of the joint task force NAHV, this initiative is not merely an energy transition; it’s the creation of a global ecosystem for renewable hydrogen. It integrates production and service activities while considering the needs of communities, paving the way for the jobs of the future and sustainable engineering skills.
The Northern Adriatic Hydrogen Valley is set to play a pivotal role in Europe’s journey towards renewable energy, positioning itself as a frontrunner in green hydrogen innovation and production.