Know-how puts Cyprus on green hydrogen map

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Cyprus has the necessary know-how for developing Renewable Energy Sources that will contribute to the production of green hydrogen and the geostrategic position for the import of hydrogen to Europe, experts said.

At an informative day on “Green Hydrogen in Cyprus” held in Nicosia, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said the government has set among its main priorities the reduction of electricity costs while strengthening the country’s energy supply and contributing to Europe’s efforts to diversify energy sources and routes.

“We are implementing policies to promote the use of RES and Energy Saving measures, the electrical interconnection of Cyprus with neighbouring countries and the arrival of natural gas in”, Papanastasiou said.

He said the European Hydrogen Strategy aims to produce up to 10 million metric tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU by 2030, while through the REPowerEU project, this goal has been doubled.

It is proposed to be achieved by facilitating imports by 2030 of an additional 10 million metric tons of hydrogen.

To develop the Cyprus National Strategy for Hydrogen, the Ministry of Energy prepared a study which presents various ways to introduce hydrogen in the energy mix.

“Specifically, it is being examined whether the production of green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis of water from electricity coming from RES, could be a key to further promoting RES in Cyprus.

“Green hydrogen can have a range of uses in industries such as, for example, cement production.

“It can also be used in the production of electricity, as well as as a fuel in road transport, shipping and air transport.”

Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) President Andreas Poullikkas spoke about the role of hydrogen in the energy transition, the “very optimistic” long-term scenario for the transition of the EU from a carbon economy to a hydrogen economy and the economics of green hydrogen.

Poullikkas talked about “hydrogen valleys”, RES energy self-sufficient communities that also channel energy to electrolysis units to produce hydrogen, which will be traded in the local networks.

Referring to Cyprus, he said the hydrogen strategy needs to be integrated into the national long-term and regional strategy, while hydrogen regulations need to be legislated so that the state can provide targeted measures to start the hydrogen chain in Cyprus.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, said Cyprus could be one of the most dynamic member states on the hydrogen map.

“Cyprus has access to air and sun.

“It is located at a key geographical point, and that is why it is time for Cyprus to join the great conversation that is taking place worldwide on the market for hydrogen.

“I am impressed by the depth of the know-how.”

Asked about the interconnection of Europe with India and the Gulf countries and Cyprus’ role, he said the EU decided at the G20 Summit to contribute to the so-called EU Gateway.

This infrastructure will be built to connect India and the Persian Gulf with Europe.

He said the East Med pipeline issue is becoming relevant again: “It will be an important part of this large infrastructure.”

Politically, he acknowledged, “it has always been difficult,” adding, however, that “with the new political and geostrategic developments, the East Med is back on the European agenda.”

President of the Cyprus Hydrogen Association, Makis Ketonis, said 27 companies from Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands, Lebanon and Romania have collaborated to submit a proposal to create a Hydrogen Cyprus Valley to produce, use and process green hydrogen.