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For rapid implementation of the technology: Hydrogen region Bavaria & Bohemia launched

The Hydrogen Region Bavaria & Bohemia (HYBaBo) was founded with a kick-off meeting at Hof University of Applied Sciences. The Institute for Hydrogen and Energy Technology (iwe) invited representatives from small and medium-sized companies. In future, the cross-border association will offer interested parties free information events, further training and networking to accelerate the establishment of hydrogen technologies in the participating regions.

Hydrogen as an energy source: the Institute for Hydrogen and Energy Technology (iwe) at
Hof University of Applied Sciences wants to promote this as part of a new cooperation;
Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

“The hydrogen region of Bavaria and Bohemia should develop into an important regional but cross-border concept for the hydrogen economy in the long term,” said moderator Simon Kolb in his welcoming address. The aim of the initiative is to inform representatives of the regional economy about current developments and opportunities in the hydrogen economy and to develop ideas for joint projects in the near future. The 30 or so participants learned a lot about the current status of hydrogen technology in the region during the first presentations. Šárka Cabadová Waisová from the Czech Hydrogen Technology Platform (HYTEP) kicked things off. Since its foundation in 2007, its task in the Czech Republic has been to support the development of the hydrogen economy and to advise the government in Prague on corresponding legislative projects.

High goals in the Czech Republic

The Czech hydrogen strategy, which, like its German partners, focuses on decarbonization and energy resilience, was last adapted in May of this year in response to the war in Ukraine. According to the strategy, the Czech Republic aims to produce one million tons of renewable or low-carbon hydrogen by 2040. However, the current figures are still far below this: 20,000 tons of renewable hydrogen and another 20,000 tons of low-carbon hydrogen were produced or imported in 2023. The share of renewable hydrogen in the Czech Republic is currently 2 percent and production – mostly based on fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal and crude oil – is currently almost exclusively carried out by companies that also consume the hydrogen themselves. Hydrogen mobility in particular is therefore still in its infancy.

Price as the biggest challenge

The main obstacle to further development in the Czech Republic is the currently still very high price of EUR 8 to 12 per kilo of renewable hydrogen:

Although with the right project planning and in-house production of hydrogen, it is already possible to cover costs or even make a profit, especially in the mobility sector, every change in technology still involves a certain amount of risk. There is currently a lack of incentives and subsidies to make this changeover easier for the companies concerned”

Šárka Cabadová Waisová, Czech Hydrogen Technology Platform (HYTEP)

Imports also raise the question of the sustainability and security of supply of Czech H2 production in view of the fees for using the necessary pipelines.

Bavaria wants to combine high-tech, innovation and climate protection

Elisabeth Gruber, National Affairs Officer at Zentrum Wasserstoff.Bayern (H2.B), then addressed the situation on the Bavarian side.

There are currently already over 40 exemplary hydrogen projects in the Free State of Bavaria. Over 30 hydrogen filling stations are being planned or are already in operation. In addition, more than 360 players from industry and science are networked in the Bavarian Hydrogen Alliance.”

Elisabeth Gruber, Center Hydrogen.Bavaria (H2.B)

The Bavarian hydrogen strategy focuses on the import of hydrogen and the export of innovative hydrogen technology. At the same time, domestic hydrogen production and the hydrogen filling station infrastructure in Bavaria are being developed and expanded. Calls are currently open to promote the electrolysis and hydrogen filling station infrastructure in Bavaria.

Reported on the Bavarian hydrogen strategy: Elisabeth Gruber from the center
Hydrogen.Bavaria (H2.B); Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Over the course of the year, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs will develop the “Hydrogen Strategy 2.0” sub-strategy as part of the Bavaria 2040 Energy Plan as an update to the Bavarian Hydrogen Strategy published in 2020.

Other presentations at the meeting dealt with the topics of “Hydrogen from biogas”, “Trucks with hydrogen combustion engines”, “Hydrogen as a building block for energy self-sufficiency” and the field of hydrogen buses.

Next measures

The first measure envisaged by the new alliance is the prompt preparation of a potential analysis for the regions of Bavaria and Bohemia. To this end, local companies in particular are to be asked about their hydrogen requirements and the possibility of production – also to determine where natural gas or other fossil fuels could already be replaced. The alliance also wants to find out where there are opportunities to use in-house renewable energies or biomass streams. In the near future, a meeting will also be held on the Czech side in Karlovy Vary (27.6.24). A further meeting is also planned in the Tirschenreuth or Amberg area during the summer, information on which will be provided in due course.

Funding through Interreg

The event took place as part of the INTERREG project “HYBaBo”, under the leadership of the OTH Amberg-Weiden, the Hof University of Applied Sciences (iwe) and the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Karlovy Vary region. In addition to events in Bavaria, the project team will also offer events in the Czech Republic.

Rainer Krauß

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