On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the 3rd Conference of the Hydrogen Ecosystem North Adriatic took place in Goriška Brda, where key stakeholders gathered – representatives of industry, science and politics. At the conference, Dr Tomaž Štokelj, Managing Director of HSE, also spoke about the important role of HSE in the decarbonisation of Slovenia.

All the assembled agreed that the race for the carbon neutrality of the global economy has already begun. More than ever, for a successful energy transition we need to stick to solutions based on pure hydrogen, without which carbon neutrality cannot be achieved. The North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley (NAHV) project, where HSE acts as a lead partner in the consortium, is the first such example in the transnational space. The joint project of Slovenia, Croatia and Italy – the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia has been highlighted as key to achieving the set climate and energy goals of Slovenia and Europe, while it also offers many opportunities in the technological and scientific fields as well as in the field of employment. The use of hydrogen in the decarbonisation of society will be most pronounced in the field of transport and industry, where the need for fossil fuels is high. Representatives of already established hydrogen valleys from Belgium, Austria and Slovakia reported on the positive changes brought to their countries by the establishment of hydrogen valleys and opportunities in the industry. In this respect, they drew attention to the necessity of the cooperation of key partners, which is based on trust and responsibility.

How, when and with what investments we will achieve the green transition and thus Slovenia’s energy independence was presented in one of the panels by the Managing Director of HSE, Dr Tomaž Štokelj, at the same time highlighting the hydrogen pilot in the area of Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant as an important building block of the entire story. The NAHV project, in which HSE is the lead partner and will actively participate in it after the signing of the contract, was also strongly supported by national decision-makers at the event – Bojan Kumer, Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy and other representatives of business and science, as well as of the European Commission and its partner organisations, which have high hopes for the establishment of a hydrogen ecosystem in this part of Europe.