Hydrogen Conference in Ljubljana

Chamber of Commerce and industry of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia,
June 11, 2024

On June 10, 2024, a LEST researcher attended the conference “Hydrogen as One of the Key Factors in the Green Transition: Challenges and Opportunities” at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS). The conference was organized by Slovenian stakeholders of the Northern Adriatic Hydrogen Valley (NAHV), which includes Slovenia, Croatia, and the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The project is considered the first international project in the field of hydrogen valleys and one of the most successful in the EU.

The conference was opened with keynote speeches by GZS Director Vesna Nahtigal and State Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy (MOPE) Tina Seršen, MSc. Following the opening, various speakers presented the NAHV project and the role of hydrogen technologies in the NECP. ELES representative Dr. Uroš Kerin, PhD, presented the Consortium for Establishing a Hydrogen Ecosystem from Low-Carbon Sources, which involves 18 partners. The project is carried out in collaboration with Japanese companies that are also heavily investing in hydrogen technology and have identified potential for technology development in Slovenia.

After a short break, a panel discussion took place in the morning session, featuring:

They discussed the previously mentioned Consortium and the NAHV project. Stakeholders presented their desires for support and cooperation to ministry officials, and at the end of the panel, participants answered some questions from the audience.

In the afternoon, two more segments of individual project presentations followed. In the first segment, various companies such as Steklarna Hrastnik, Plinovodi, Alpacem Cement, ECUBES, LPP, and KSSENA presented their work, challenges, and solutions in the field of hydrogen technologies. The presentations by Steklarna Hrastnik and LPP were particularly interesting. The latter is intensively renewing its fleet; they have already purchased eight hydrogen buses and expect to acquire 32 more in the coming years. In addition to updating their fleet, they will build a hydrogen refueling station in Stanežiče, which will mostly obtain hydrogen from their own electrolyzer powered by solar PV panels installed in the Koseze area.

In the second part of the afternoon program, research and development projects in the field of hydrogen technologies in Slovenia were presented. Speakers described the research work conducted at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (UL), the National Institute of Chemistry, and the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (UM). A young Slovenian company, ReCatalyst, which specializes in the production of catalysts for fuel cells and is considered one of the most advanced in the world, also presented itself.

At the conference, we heard both positive and optimistic predictions about the use of hydrogen and some more cautious comments from certain stakeholders. However, all speakers generally agreed that hydrogen will certainly play an important role in the future of energy and the green transition.