Officials from the Wielkopolska Region, mayors of its largest towns and cities, as well as representatives from the local academic world and business community are joining efforts to usher in a hydrogen-based future. A Letter of Intent expressing the desire to establish a Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley was officially signed last week at the Marshal’s Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Poznań. Solaris is one the signatories to the document.

Hydrogen may play an unprecedented role in the process of decarbonisation. We are closely monitoring this phenomenon, in particular, in our sector. The pace of change is impressive: in 2014 we handed over the first articulated hydrogen-fuelled buses to our clients in Hamburg, in 2018 10 trolleybuses were delivered with a hydrogen fuel cell as a range extender, while in 2019 we unveiled our first state-of-the-art 12-metre hydrogen bus. Today, only a few years later, we are completing orders for our Urbino 12 hydrogen placed by carriers and local authorities from Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Italy!

Dariusz Michalak PhD. Eng., member of the Management Board of Solaris

Towards Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley

At the beginning of July, a document confirming a wish to collaborate on the development of the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley was signed at the Marshal’s Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Poznań. The Letter of Intent to establish the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley was signed by the authorities of the Wielkopolska Region, led by Marek Woźniak, Marshal of the Region, and Jacek Bogusławski, member of the Management Board of the Wielkopolska Region and CEO of the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Platform. What is more, mayors of the largest towns and cities in the region (Poznań, Konin, Kalisz, Piła, Leszno and Ostrów Wielkopolski), as well as representatives of local universities (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poznań University of Technology and Poznań University of Life Sciences) also put their signatures to the document. Moreover, the signatories also included dignitaries from the business community: Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o. o., Zespół Elektrowni Pątnów-Adamów-Konin S.A., Wielkopolska Rada Trzydziestu (The Wielkopolska Council of Thirty), and Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego (Agency for Regional Development) in Konin.

Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley

The Letter of Intent confirms a desire to collaborate on the establishment of the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley. The synergy of activities undertaken by the stakeholders will allow them to set up a coordinated and integrated ecosystem of relations to bolster the development of technology, expertise, business and education. The aim of the signatories is to contribute to decarbonising the economy to achieve climate neutrality.

Additionally, the signing of the Letter of Intent is meant to be a clear signal of the willingness to participate in the ”National Hydrogen Strategy until 2030 with the Outlook until 2040”. It sets out goals and measures to build a low-carbon hydrogen economy. These goals and measures relate to three sectors in which hydrogen is deployed (energy, transport and industry), as well as to its production, distribution and any necessary regulatory and funding changes.

During the signing ceremony, Marek Woźniak, Marshal of the Wielkopolska Region, underscored the significance of intersectoral cooperation to promote hydrogen applications: “Hydrogen is an excellent form of energy storage that enables you to balance energy generation from renewable sources. It may be deployed in a variety of ways in industry and the economy. The time for acquainting oneself with it and testing its attractiveness and importance is over. Currently, there are numerous stakeholders from business, academia and local government backing this very idea who want to aim for specific, concrete applications of hydrogen in their areas of activity”.

Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley

Dariusz Michalak PhD. Eng., member of the Management Board of Solaris, pointed out the progress made deploying hydrogen that we have observed over the last few years: “Hydrogen may play an unprecedented role in the process of decarbonisation. We are closely monitoring this phenomenon, in particular, in our sector. The pace of change is impressive: in 2014 we handed over the first articulated hydrogen-fuelled buses to our clients in Hamburg, in 2018 10 trolleybuses were delivered with a hydrogen fuel cell as a range extender, while in 2019 we unveiled our first state-of-the-art 12-metre hydrogen bus. Today, only a few years later, we are completing orders for our Urbino 12 hydrogen placed by carriers and local authorities from Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Italy! We are extremely happy that we can accompany our clients on their path to transforming public transport, and from now on, with the signing of the Letter of Intent for the Wielkopolska Hydrogen Valley we also will be able to share our expertise in order to develop the hydrogen economy in the region”.

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