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Poland at the forefront of Europe's hydrogen revolution

Poland at the forefront of Europe's hydrogen revolution
The European Union wants to allocate more than 400 billion euros to hydrogen projects by the year 2050. Credit: Shutterstock

Hydrogen, heralded as the fuel of the future, remains an extremely promising solution for the energy sector, which is under pressure from the raw materials crisis.

Hydrogen is also increasingly penetrating the consciousness of societies as an energy carrier of the near future. It is, like electromobility, a gradually developing megatrend. A trend that will change the face of numerous branches of the economy through the use of hydrogen in various fields of production, transport and energy.

Hydrogen is no longer just a vision, but an alternative for development. The European Union wants to allocate more than 400 billion euros to hydrogen projects by the year 2050.

On 8th July 2020, the EU issued a communique entitled 'Hydrogen Strategy for a Climate-Neutral Europe'. The document sets out the next, ambitious phases of the development of the hydrogen economy within the Community, which the "Polish Hydrogen Strategy" published on the 7th December 2021 is trying to meet.

Its main objectives are the implementation of hydrogen technologies in the power and heating sectors; the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel in transport and support for the decarbonisation of industry. Indicators of achieving the goals of the Polish Hydrogen Strategy by 2030 are, among other things: the number of hydrogen buses in use or the number of hydrogen valleys. Many of these goals are already being met. Polish entrepreneurs implement projects along the entire value chain in the hydrogen economy.

The potential

Poland sees a huge potential in hydrogen. Since 2020, we have been witnessing significant efforts, both on the part of government and business, to create a solid base for the development of this new branch.

The Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) is taking up the gauntlet in promoting an open hydrogen economy, both in the field of foreign expansion and attracting foreign direct investment to Poland. PAIH can play a particularly important role in the process of technological change when it comes to hydrogen.

An extensive network of contacts developed through practical undertakings has built the Agency's position as an expert institution. PAIH concludes numerous industry agreements significantly facilitating cooperation at an interinstitutional level. This helps to efficiently initiate projects and gather business entities around them. PAIH’s extensive network of Foreign Trade Offices (ZBH) enables efficient implementation of tasks in cooperation with entities from other countries.

It is worth remembering that ZBH’s do not only serve the countries in which they are located, but entire regions. A good example is the ZBH in Amsterdam, which operates as the PAIH’s hub not only in the Netherlands, but also in Belgium and Luxembourg and supports various initiatives throughout the Benelux region.

Thanks to these factors, PAIH is perceived as a reliable business partner, both in the process of foreign expansion, investment processes as well as in moderating numerous economic events.

Information sharing

The Agency is a source of reliable market information verified directly in the market. In the process of building a hydrogen economy, the use of the above advantages can significantly contribute to attracting high-tech direct investments from foreign markets, new technologies, the promotion of Polish hydrogen companies, cooperation of industry initiatives and attracting capital, which is much needed by Polish companies in order to expand their activities. These activities are extremely important, especially now, in this critical moment when Poland’s hydrogen market is being formed.

The Polish Investment and Trade Agency is involved in numerous events promoting the Polish hydrogen sector. A good example of this is the conference "GO GREEN - Hydrogen solutions from Poland and Belgium" organized in Brussels in June. The event was a joint venture of the ZBH in Amsterdam with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Brussels and took place with the additional support and partnership of Belgian institutions.

The conference was an opportunity to present the potential of Polish technological thought to the world, establish contact with potential partners and investors. The participants of the conference were, among others, representatives of the Ministry of Energy in Belgium - An Stroobandt, Deputy Head of Cabinet Minister Van Der Straeten, who gave a presentation on the federal Hydrogen strategy and Szymon Byliński - Director of the Department of Electromobility and Hydrogen Economy, Ministry of Climate and Environment, who presented the Poland’s hydrogen strategy. The Polish Investment and Trade Agency was represented by Piotr Dytko, Member of the Management Board, representatives of PAIH in Benelux, Magdalena Lekan and Luana Żak from ZBH Amsterdam and industry expert Grzegorz Gałczyński.

The joint Polish-Belgian event also testifies to Poland’s and Belgium’s a similar approach to hydrogen. The Belgian strategy, like the Polish one, focuses in particular on the use of hydrogen (primarily) for the decarbonisation of industry and transport. The fact that Poland and Belgium are going in the same direction when it comes to hydrogen provides a good foundation for cooperation between the two countries.

One of the pillars of the Belgian strategy is also the focus on cooperation, which gives even greater hope for the possibility of further joint activities. The Go Green conference was a starting point for exploring the possibilities of developing hydrogen strategies and innovative solutions for industry in Poland and Belgium.

However, hydrogen is not the only sector of the economy that is of interest to the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. PAIH is the first point of contact for exporters and investors from all industries. PAIH's mission is to increase the overall inflow of foreign direct investments to Poland and the internationalization of Polish enterprises.

The Agency offers quick access to comprehensive information on the economic environment and helps in overcoming administrative procedures for specific projects, developing legal solutions, finding the right location and reliable partners and suppliers. PAIH combines cross-sectoral competences and international experience, thanks to which it is able to provide entrepreneurs with a  comprehensive services all in one place. It also provides grant, financial, insurance, training and information support. However, it primarily provides knowledge and support in establishing business contacts.

Thanks to its network of Foreign Trade Offices, the Agency's employees are able to help entrepreneurs in person, in a given country. ZBHs also provide support and information to local companies looking for business partners in Poland and work together with them on joint projects.

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