Virtual Conference on Hydrogen Industry Organised by the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The virtual conference on hydrogen industry organised by the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Bulgarien) took place on 20 October 2021. Hydrogen as a raw material, fuel or energy carrier and energy accumulation vehicle is high on the agenda of the efforts of the European Union to ensure a green transition to a climate-neutral and sustainable Europe as stated in the EU Green Deal.

The first panel of the conference presented the hydrogen industry to the audience from the perspective of the German experience. The German participants outlined the advantages of the use of green hydrogen for energy needs and the challenges facing the industry, including the need for serious investment and the lack of an appropriate hydrogen transmission and storage infrastructure. Some innovative German projects were presented, such as the WESTKUSTE 100 project to produce hydrogen from an offshore wind farm and the hydrogen campus in Salzgitter.

The second panel focused on the current condition and development prospects of the hydrogen industry in Bulgaria. In the beginning of the discussion, Mr. Zhelyaz Enev, Director of the Economic Policy Directorate at the Ministry of the Economy presented the opportunities for financing hydrogen projects in Bulgaria, including the National SME Strategy and the Competitiveness and Innovations in Enterprises Programme. Special attention was paid to the role of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan which provided for the preparation and adoption of a national roadmap to improve the conditions for tapping the potential for the development of hydrogen technologies and hydrogen production and supply mechanisms. The panel discussed ongoing hydrogen projects, including demonstration projects for hydrogen-powered public transport and a demo installation for energy supply to single-family homes. The participants reviewed the specific challenges to the development of the hydrogen economy in Bulgaria, highlighting the lack of a technical infrastructure and electrolysers for the production of green hydrogen. However, they emphasized that Bulgaria had excellent specialists in the field of the production, storage and use of hydrogen and favourable natural conditions, which could enable the country to take active part in the development of a hydrogen ecosystem in Europe in accordance with the European Hydrogen Strategy.