Maria Todorova, MIG: Bulgaria will mobilize a resource of over 3 billion euros to promote hydrogen technologies
Our country strives to be among only the first 20 countries in the world with a working hydrogen valley, the construction of which begins as early as 2023.
MIG is developing the National Roadmap for the Development of Hydrogen Technologies, as one of the main reforms under the Recovery Plan. Its adoption by the Council of Ministers is pending
Within the next 5 to 7 years, our country can mobilize a resource of 3.2 billion euros for various programs and projects, incl. private investment to promote the use of the potential of hydrogen technologies. This was stated by Maria Todorova, director of the "Policies and Analyses" Directorate at the Ministry of Innovation and Growth (MIG). She pointed out that together with representatives of the business and scientific circles, a Roadmap for the development of hydrogen technologies is being developed, which seeks to orient the industry towards a hydrogen-based economy, with a focus on the so-called Green hydrogen.
Todorova pointed out that the financing of hydrogen technologies for production, storage and export will be with both grants and financial instruments and a combination of the two. "There is a huge interest from the industry, she said and added that only through MIG under the programs for "Competitiveness and Innovation in Enterprises (PCIE) and the Program "Scientific Research, Innovation and Digitization for Intelligent Transformation" (PSRIDIT) is a set of measures foreseen, related to the green transition.
The director of the Directorate "Policies and Analyses" at MIG pointed out that in only 20 countries in the world there are so-called Hydrogen Valleys, as Bulgaria is one of the first to support the implementation of such a project to support the industry. "The hydrogen valley project in Bulgaria, which is planned to be realized in the Mariska Basin, is one of only 37 such projects in 20 countries (to date) and one of the 9 projects under the Horizon Europe Program for which the European Commission provides funding in the first call for project proposals in 2022. The project will also be supported with 8 million euros through the Program for Science and Innovation (PSRIDIT) at MIG, and in total, more than 30 million will be invested in the complete construction of the planned hydrogen infrastructure. euro", she pointed out in a report for BTV and added that the project will involve representatives of scientific organizations and businesses. Todorova announced that she expects its launch as early as 2023, with the deadline for its implementation being 5 years, and specified that the Hydrogen Valleys are local ecosystems that connect the production, transport and consumption of hydrogen by end users such as electromobility or industry.
"The procedures for the implementation of innovations in enterprises with a total budget of nearly BGN 300 million, as well as for the development of innovations for over BGN 120 million under PCIE, are two of the opportunities for the industry to invest in these technologies already this year," he pointed out she. According to her, the National Plan for Recovery and Sustainability also implements investments in green transition and circular economy, as well as in climate neutrality. Todorova gave an example of the procedure that was opened on February 14 under the MIG Plan for the construction of RES installations by businesses. It has a budget of BGN 200 million. "The production of green hydrogen through the electrolysis of water powered by RES (e.g. photovoltaics) is a sure solution in the direction of decarbonization of the economy and suitable for carbon-intensive productions," said Todorova. She specified that green hydrogen can have multiple applications in industry, transport, energy and construction and is non-polluting. "It is an important raw material for a number of key industries such as the production of ammonia and nitrogen fertilizers, as well as conventional fuels for transport. Hydrogen can offer clean solutions in the transport system, through fuel cell electromobility, to reduce harmful emissions, and the conversion and storage of energy in the form of hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water ensures its easy redistribution between sectors and regions." she stated.
Maria Todorova emphasized that MIG is the responsible institution that develops the National Roadmap for the development of hydrogen technologies in the country, which aims to accelerate scientific research and innovation in the sector, including the commercialization of hydrogen technologies. "The Hydrogen Map is a strategic document to create conditions for progress in the use of these technologies. Very soon, after the discussions in the working group and interdepartmental coordination, it will be submitted for adoption by the Council of Ministers," Todorova pointed out. She emphasized that the development of this document was laid down as one of the main reforms under the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, with which to create the basic normative, financial and administrative prerequisites and mechanisms for the production and supply of hydrogen.
Todorova reminded that MIG has also updated Bulgaria's Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization in the Thematic Area "Clean Technologies, Circular and Low-Carbon Economy", where the production of hydrogen with an emphasis on green hydrogen and the use of hydrogen in industry, energy are envisaged as sub-areas, transport and life. "This is a basis for the provision of financial means under the programs to finance precisely clean technologies," she said