The European Hydrogen Forum took place on November 26th-27th as part of the online events organized by the European Commission in the framework of the European Hydrogen Week.
Yesterday, the panel of CEOs was held, with the participation of members of the Clean Hydrogen Alliance where the 6 pillars of the wider hydrogen ecosystem were represented, among which DEPA’s CEO K.Xifaras. The panel titled “Vision and the way ahead” was chaired by the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton.
As noted by Mr. Xifaras, DEPA has supported the Clean Hydrogen Alliance from the beginning with confidence that it will play a key role in accelerating the ramp-up of hydrogen technologies across Europe.
The fact that the Clean Hydrogen Alliance consists of 6 roundtables, each of which represent a different sector of the hydrogen ecosystem, depicts the fact that hydrogen is versatile and flexible energy carrier. Mr. Xifaras participated in the panel, representing “Residential Applications” roundtable and presented the White Dragon Project, which DEPA coordinates, with emphasis on its residential aspect.
The idea of the White Dragon Project was born following the Greek government’s commitment to phase out all lignite fired power plants by 2028. TEN years earlier than Germany, making Greece a pioneer in the Balkans. The region of Western Macedonia has been the energy pillar in Greece for decades, mainly because of its lignite focused energy production and is therefore affected the most by the planned phase out.
Moreover, Western Macedonia is strongly depended on its lignite powered district heating system. (around 120.000 citizens).
The core idea of the White Dragon Project is to use Renewable energy (Solar) in order to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis. The produced hydrogen will be used as storage, as fuel for heavy duty vehicles, buses and passenger cars and will be transported through pipelines (maybe even exported via the TransAdriatic Pipeline) or via lorries bound in LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers).
The innovative approach however lies in the fact that by using Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, heat is generated as a byproduct which in turn can be used for the district heating demand of the region, therefore achieving efficiencies beyond 50%.
Having the White Dragon Project at the core of this ecosystem, Mr. Xifaras highlighted, it is anticipated to further attract investments that will gradually expand and broaden the end-use-applications, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.
This project has brought together all major industrial stakeholders in Greece and abroad, who are working on making this project a reference point for other European regions in transition. DEPA is working closely with the regional government and the regional authorities, with commitment to put Greece at the forefront of climate efficient technologies and pave the way for a better and sustainable future.