Image: Solaris

The Wielkopolska Region, its mayors, academics, and business leaders are working together to bring forth a hydrogen-based future.

A Letter of Intent declaring the wish to construct a Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley was signed officially last week at the Wielkopolska Region’s Marshal’s Office in Pozna. Solaris was one of the document’s signatories.

At the Marshal’s Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Pozna, a document confirming a desire to collaborate on the development of the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley was signed in early July. The Wielkopolska Region’s authorities, led by Marek Woniak, Marshal of the Region, and Jacek Bogusawski, member of the Wielkopolska Region’s Management Board and CEO of the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Platform, signed the Letter of Intent to Establish the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley. Additionally, the mayors of the region’s largest towns and cities (Pozna, Konin, Kalisz, Pia, Leszno, and Ostrów Wielkopolski) as well as representatives from regional universities (Adam Mickiewicz University in Pozna, Pozna University of Technology, and Pozna University of Life Sciences) have signed the document. Additionally, the signatories included representatives from the business community: Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o. o., Zespó Elektrowni Ptnów-Adamów-Konin S.A., Wielkopolska Rada Trzydziestu, and Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego in Konin.

The Letter of Intent demonstrates a willingness to participate on the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley’s creation. The stakeholders’ synergy of operations will enable them to establish a coordinated and integrated ecosystem of relationships that will enhance the development of technology, knowledge, business, and education. The signatories’ objective is to contribute to the decarbonization of the economy in order to attain climate neutrality.

Additionally, the Letter of Intent is intended to serve as a clear indication of the company’s desire to engage in the “National Hydrogen Strategy until 2030 with an Outlook to 2040.” It outlines objectives and measures for establishing a low-carbon hydrogen economy. These objectives and measures apply to the three sectors in which hydrogen is used (energy, transportation, and industry), as well as to the hydrogen’s production, distribution, and any necessary regulatory and funding modifications.

Marek Woźniak, Marshal of the Wielkopolska Region, underscored the significance of intersectoral cooperation to promote hydrogen applications: “Hydrogen is an excellent form of energy storage that enables you to balance energy generation from renewable sources. It may be deployed in a variety of ways in industry and the economy. The time for acquainting oneself with it and testing its attractiveness and importance is over. Currently, there are numerous stakeholders from business, academia and local government backing this very idea who want to aim for specific, concrete applications of hydrogen in their areas of activity”.

Dariusz Michalak PhD. Eng., member of the Management Board of Solaris, pointed out the progress made deploying hydrogen that we have observed over the last few years: “Hydrogen may play an unprecedented role in the process of decarbonisation. We are closely monitoring this phenomenon, in particular, in our sector. The pace of change is impressive: in 2014 we handed over the first articulated hydrogen-fuelled buses to our clients in Hamburg, in 2018 10 trolleybuses were delivered with a hydrogen fuel cell as a range extender, while in 2019 we unveiled our first state-of-the-art 12-metre hydrogen bus. Today, only a few years later, we are completing orders for our Urbino 12 hydrogen placed by carriers and local authorities from Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Italy! We are extremely happy that we can accompany our clients on their path to transforming public transport, and from now on, with the signing of the Letter of Intent for the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley we also will be able to share our expertise in order to develop the hydrogen economy in the region”.

Nedim Husomanovic

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