The Danish government has recently decided that Ukraine will be a key recipient of Danish technical assistance under the European Neighborhood Program (DANEP). In total, the country may receive 4,6 million dollars for developing projects in green energy and sustainable development. Why is Ukraine the right solution for investing in the development of hydrogen energy?
Green hydrogen will help humanity slow down global warming. At the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, more than 40 countries assumed to abandon fossil fuels. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, also confirmed that he aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 65% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). In turn, Denmark plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 70%.
But green hydrogen will not only address climate change. It can significantly reduce Europe's dependence on natural gas imports.
The transition to hydrogen energy is the only solution to the European gas market's problems in recent months. The geopolitical events of recent months have made it clear that the hydrogen transformation of the energy sector is a durable solution to the situation.
The confidence of the Denmark and Ukraine governments in the possibility of a rapid energy transition is based on the massive potential of renewable energy sources. Ukraine knows that Denmark is one of the world leaders in green energy and it implements projects that world experts admire. What is worth the ambitious idea of the Danes to build an artificial island the size of 18 football fields in the North Sea, which will produce and store clean energy for 3 million European households.
In turn, the electricity generation by offshore wind power plants in Ukraine can reach almost 1000 billion kWh. This will be enough to produce 19.5 million tons of green hydrogen by electrolysis. Its good geographical location also allows it to increase hydrogen production through solar and wind energy rapidly. Thus, only six Ukrainian regions can meet domestic demand and the needs of Denmark and other European countries.
Geographical location on the border with EU countries strengthens the export potential of Ukrainian hydrogen energy. For example, Ukraine will become the nearest potential supplier of green hydrogen for Europe by 2030. In addition to the developed gas network, which Ukrainians will re-equip to transport hydrogen, the country has ready facilities for storing a new clean energy source - underground gas storage facilities. Ukrainians promote the establishment of a short maritime corridor to transport hydrogen to the EU.
Ukraine has already agreed with some EU gas transmission system operators to establish a common European hydrogen pipeline based on these outstanding export opportunities. Naftogaz and three other powerful Ukrainian gas companies have joined the international H2EU + Store project to produce green hydrogen in Ukraine.
Currently, investors from Denmark are looking for entrepreneurs who are ready to develop hydrogen transport infrastructure in Ukraine - a network of refueling stations and the automotive component.
Projects are also being developed to produce hydrogen as an energy source in industrial production to replace natural gas.
The implementation of Ukrainian hydrogen projects will require a significant amount of specific industrial equipment not currently produced in Ukraine. Therefore, the Danish-Ukrainian cooperation in the field of hydrogen energy, which is beginning, will provide an additional impetus to the Danish heavy industry: machine building, mechanical engineering, and more.
Ukrainians have the confidence to make Ukraine the future hydrogen hub of Europe. They believe that the enormous potential of Ukraine's renewable and hydrogen energy will be carried out through the efforts of domestic and international investors, including Danish partners.
By Oleksandr Riepkin, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the hydrogen economy, President of the Energy Association "Ukrainian Hydrogen Council"