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Polenergia launches hydrogen R&D project

Polenergia launches hydrogen R&D project

The National Centre for Research and Development will subsidize Polenergia's research and development project "H2 HUB Nowa Sarzyna: Green Hydrogen Storage". According to the signed agreement, the total amount of the grant may be as much as PLN 95 million. The project is being implemented as part of a consortium led by Polenergia. The other partners are Elektrociepłownia Nowa Sarzyna and Wroclaw University of Technology.

Polenergia was among six teams awarded funding by the National Center for Research and Development to implement innovative energy projects in the spring of 2022, as part of the first “New Technologies in the field of energy” competition. The competition supports Poland’s achievement of climate neutrality through the implementation of solutions that enhance the country’s energy security and increase the competitiveness of the domestic economy.

The aim of the R&D project “H2 HUB Nowa Sarzyna: Green Hydrogen Storage” is to use green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis of water powered by renewable energy, to produce renewable aviation fuel. The resulting fuel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation industry, without the need to build new infrastructure, fuel bases and develop new aircraft designs.

Green hydrogen production is an important part of Polenergia's strategy. As one of the leaders in renewable energy in Poland, we are conducting an advanced program to develop new business based precisely on green hydrogen. Its element is a large-scale hydrogen plant produced by water electrolysis in Upper Silesia, as well as smaller projects, such as a 5 MW installation located at the Nowa Sarzyna Combined Heat and Power Plant that produces green hydrogen for the needs of industry, energy and public transport, and a project for the production of renewable aviation fuel, for which we signed a contract.

Iwona Sierżęga

member of the Polenergia Group Management Board

The project “H2 HUB Nowa Sarzyna: Green Hydrogen Storage” will be implemented in three stages. After the implementation of each stage, the consortium and NCBR will evaluate the results of the project and decide whether to proceed to the next stage. The first stage includes the creation of an extensive feasibility study. The signed agreement provides for a subsidy of nearly PLN 100,000 for this phase of the project, which is half of the expected financial outlay for this stage of the project. The total value of the NCBiR grant for the entire H2HUB project is more than PLN 95 million.

Green hydrogen is seen as a critical element in the energy transition, allowing for avoiding CO2 emissions in industrial sectors that are difficult to decarbonise, such as steel or cement production, maritime transport, and aviation.

The main challenge of using hydrogen as an energy carrier is its relatively low energy density compared to traditional fuels. Its storage requires the construction of advanced tanks in which hydrogen is stored in gaseous form under high pressure. An alternative storage method is the conversion of hydrogen to other chemical compounds, such as liquid fuels.

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