State commitment to hydrogen energy is increasing

A €50 million fund has been launched at the ministry to support hydrogen energy projects.
A €50 million fund has been launched at the ministry to support hydrogen energy projects. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Ministry of Environment has developed a roadmap for hydrogen, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is allocating nearly €50 million to hydrogen projects.

The document, drafted by the Ministry of the Environment, examines hydrogen as the future's clean energy carrier.

"The Hydrogen Roadmap aims to show that hydrogen is an option for the future, in order to advance towards a cleaner environment and adopt greener technology.

Hydrogen plays an important role. Meelis Münt, secretary general of the Ministry of the Environment, explained that the objective of the document is to reassure market participants and scientists that the state has a vested interest in the hydrogen issue and that hydrogen is viewed as a future energy source.

The production of hydrogen energy must be fueled by renewables as well, "We will be able to explore large-scale deployment of hydrogen technology when onshore and offshore wind farms are more widely commercially available and excess energy can be used to produce green hydrogen," Münt said.

A €50 million fund has been launched at the ministry to support hydrogen energy projects. "Transport and the chemical industry were the sectors with the biggest positive impact, so we designed the pilot project there. It is no longer about public transportation as such, but about the entire transport sector, including manufacture, infrastructure for refueling and transportation," Kristo Kaasik, the leader of renewable energy department at the ministry, said.

The most serious problem with the use of hydrogen today is the high energy losses associated with it.

"Hydrogen is unlikely to be an important transport fuel and several projects in Japan have been cancelled, as these buses turned out to be an expensive alternative," said Kalev Kallemets, board chair of Fermi Energia, the company that aims to build Estonia's nuclear plant.

"Storing large quantities of fuel and then transforming them back into electricity is an inefficient and expensive use of energy," he explained.

Kallemets said, however, that hydrogen has a great deal of industrial potential, such as in the fertilizer industry.


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Kristina Kersa

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