TALLINN - In order for Estonia's hydrogen economy to start growing, a strategy needs to be drawn up and the relevant interested parties need to mobilize and form a cluster, according to Annely Akkerman, chair of the group in the parliament formed in support of hydrogen technologies.
"Many states already have them. Estonia, too, needs to get on this train that's already on the move," Akkermann said.
A strategy for renewable energy and hydrogen technology is also needed for meeting Estonia's long-term climate objectives, according to Enn Lust, chemist and a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Tartu. The strategy should map out the roles of the state, research institutions, entrepreneurs and local governments in the introduction of hydrogen technologies as well as establish deadlines and estimate the need and sources for funding. A hydrogen cluster has already been formed in East-Viru County and, according to businessman Priit Kotkas, resources are expected from the Just Transition Fund for launching hydrogen production and purchasing hydrogen-powered buses.
Lust added that a study program on hydrogen technology is available in the University of Tartu from November, and students who have passed the theoretical part of the program can start building and testing ultracapacitors and fuel cells at the university's laboratories.
CEO of Skycorp Marek Alliksoo underscored the need for Estonia to rapidly collect ideas for joining Europe's Important Project for Common European Interest (IPCEI) initiative. The process of idea collection has already been carried out in 16 states. Joining international projects would help Estonian businesses find their role in the value chain and support their efforts towards developing these roles, he said.
Akkermann and two more members of the parliamentary group, Erkki Savisaar and Rene Kokk, visited the University of Tartu Institute of Chemistry and took part in a meeting with groups interested in hydrogen technology from East-Viru County and Hiiumaa as well as with representatives of the University of Tartu and the Tartu Science Park.