June 23. 2024. 12:52

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Czech coal mining regions want to be ‘hydrogen valleys’

Three coal mining regions in the Czech Republic want to become Central European leaders in hydrogen technologies, the joint memorandum signed by the three regions’ governors in Prague on Tuesday reads.

Under the joint memorandum, Moravian-Silesian, Ústecký, and Karlovarský have confirmed their plan to turn themselves into “hydrogen valleys” by exploring the possibilities offered by hydrogen together.

“These three regions are basically opening up the possibility to pilot the technology. These are areas that have stood on coal mining, and now they are being offered alternatives. Specifically, the Moravian-Silesian region is now in a situation where all coal mines will soon close. Therefore, we must urgently look for ways to replace them,” Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region, Ivo Vondrák, told EURACTIV.cz.

“I don’t think that hydrogen will be able to replace the problem of coal mining at the moment, but it is an alternative and a source of energy that may be interesting in the future,” he added.

According to Czech Environment Minister Petr Hladík (KDU-ČSL, EPP), the country’s coal mining regions have the potential to become Central European leaders in the development of hydrogen technologies.

He added that these regions can take the lead in the production, storage and use of hydrogen, particularly in the transport sector.

To make their hydrogen plans a reality, the coal mining regions are betting on EU funds, mainly the Just Transition Fund and Modernisation Fund.

In addition to the hydrogen memorandum, the regions and the Environment Ministry signed another declaration, pledging their common interest “in achieving climate goals, the quality of the environment and the prosperity of the Czech Republic and its regions”.

(Kateřina Zichová, Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)