Over the past years, Ukraine expressed its intention to step on the energy transition pathway, develop energy efficiency measures, phase out fossil fuels, and switch to renewable energy sources (RES). The development of green hydrogen production (based on electrolysis of water using renewable electricity) is part of the chosen direction. Therefore, the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine and more than 20 Ukrainian companies have joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance to coordinate efforts to develop hydrogen energy.
As the Czech government signed off on the EU “Green Deal”, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050, the Czech Republic needs to find ways to achieve this goal, or at least to get close to it. Even though certain legislative and other supporting measures are currently being undertaken towards transitioning to low carbon energy – changes to the Czech Act on supported sources of energy, state subsidies for the (re)construction of power plants – given its geographical specifics and historical background, nuclear power is likely to play a key role in replacing coal-burning power plants. Under current state policy, construction of new nuclear reactors is to begin shortly. The first new reactors, to be located at the current Dukovany power plant, should begin operations by 2037. The Dukovany project took precedence over the construction of new nuclear blocks at the Temelin power plant, a priority at the beginning of the 21st century.
Gas is of particular economic importance for Austria. In addition to production, infrastructure (including the Baumgarten gas hub), transportation, trade, and supply-secure coverage of gas demand play a major role. Yearly demand of roughly 80 to 90 terawatt-hours, constant over the last ten years, is generated by the manufacturing and energy sectors, non-energy consumption, agriculture, private households, power plants as conversion applications, transport, and the service sector. With a share of about 15%, gas also plays an important role in Austria’s electricity generation, primarily by providing flexible capacities that can be utilized at short notice to stabilize the power grid.
In 1874, a French writer, forerunner of science-fiction literature, named Jules Verne (1828-1905) wrote in his famous novel The Mysterious Island about a world where “water will one day be used as a fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen, which constitute it, used alone or simultaneously will provide an inexhaustible source of heat and light of an intensity that coal cannot have.” More than 110 years after his death, hydrogen is a hot topic in the global energy industry.
The end of 2020 saw landmark legislative interventions in Greece, mainly aiming to create the prerequisites for the widest possible adoption of the EU Target Model (the creation of a single EU energy market) and boost the penetration of renewable energy sources, in a regulated and rational way. According to the government, these interventions “establish the framework for a more rational operation of the sector, on more competitive terms, to the benefit of the consumers and of the Greek economy in general.”
Bulgaria is just a stone’s throw away from completing the electricity market liberalization that has been in progress in recent years. The main goal of the Bulgarian Government is to gradually eliminate regulated electricity prices by the end of 2025 and to fully transition to market conditions by promoting market competition.