New initiative is taking shape in the sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus, as a consortium of 27 companies from countries including Greece, the Netherlands, Lebanon, and Romania embark on the establishment of Europe’s first-ever “Hydrogen Valley.” This ambitious project aims to revolutionize the region’s energy landscape, with a strong focus on green hydrogen production.
Green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources, particularly solar power in Cyprus’s case, is gaining prominence as a clean and sustainable energy carrier. Minister of Energy, Commerce, and Industry George Papanastasiou revealed that several Cypriot companies have proposed pilot projects for green hydrogen production, and a technical committee has been appointed to assess the potential role of hydrogen in the domestic market.
The European Hydrogen Strategy sets a target of 10 million tons of annual hydrogen production by 2030. However, with the recent REPowerEU initiative, this ambitious goal was doubled to 20 million tons, including imports. Cyprus is positioning itself at the forefront of this hydrogen revolution.
A study supported by the European Commission has identified various avenues for integrating hydrogen into the energy mix, including applications in cement and electricity production, as well as road, maritime, and air transportation. The versatility of green hydrogen makes it a pivotal player in achieving a sustainable energy transition.
The concept of a “hydrogen valley” encompasses the entire value chain of hydrogen, from production and storage to distribution and consumption. It represents a holistic approach to harnessing the potential of hydrogen as an energy carrier. Cyprus and its international consortium partners are united in their commitment to realizing this vision.
Green hydrogen is generated through a process called electrolysis, which uses renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. State aid is available to support green hydrogen production, and Cyprus aims to utilize this technology for the greater good. Andreas Poulikkas, Head of Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, envisions hydrogen dominating various sectors, including transportation, by 2050, marking a significant shift away from fossil fuels.
Cyprus is not new to the green hydrogen game. In 2022, the European Union granted a EUR 4.5 million subsidy to the GreenH2CY consortium. This consortium is dedicated to developing the capacity to produce 150 tons of green hydrogen annually for transportation purposes. Their comprehensive plans include the construction of a storage facility and a hydrogen filling station.
As Cyprus takes strides toward its hydrogen valley, the broader Balkan region is also making moves in the green hydrogen space. Bulgaria, for instance, has initiated a pilot project for the production and utilization of green hydrogen, marking a collective shift away from fossil fuels.
While the road to a hydrogen-based economy is still under construction, Cyprus stands as a shining example of how green hydrogen can shape the future of clean energy. Europe’s first hydrogen valley is not just a local innovation; it’s a beacon of hope for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy landscape, both in Cyprus and beyond.