Solaris statement at European Clean Hydrogen Alliance Forum

Javier Iriarte, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach, attended and delivered a speech at the 6th Forum of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance held at La Maison du Bois in Brussels. The event brought together key stakeholders, including representatives of Clean Hydrogen Alliance Members and European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. 

Date of publication: August 1, 2023

Established in July 2020, the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance has a clear mission: to facilitate the widespread adoption of clean hydrogen technologies by 2030. We have been an active member of this alliance since its inception. The alliance boasts an impressive membership base of over 1700 entities, including industry players, public authorities, civil society, investors, and the research community. Its primary goal is to encourage investments and drive the production, distribution, and utilization of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen across multiple sectors such as industry, mobility, and residential applications. 

During the opening session of the 6th Forum of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance titled “Why the hydrogen economy in the EU will secure Europe’s industrial competitiveness.”, Solaris Bus & Coach CEO, Javier Iriarte, had the honor of delivering a keynote speech as a representative of the Mobility Roundtable.

The availability of infrastructure and of the fuel itself as well as the price for the end customer represent two of the biggest challenges today. 

Javier Iriarte expressed the importance of zero-emission mobility powered by hydrogen as the fuel of the future. His statement resonated with attendees, highlighting the crucial role of hydrogen in achieving a sustainable and competitive industrial landscape in Europe. 

Read the whole statement below:

“During today’s forum, I have the great honor of representing the Mobility Roundtable. Our roundtable unites more than 50 companies, ranging from startups and SMEs to global leaders, representing almost the entire ecosystem related to the mobility of both people and goods. 

We are actively engaged in planning, implementing, and supplying hydrogen-powered vehicles and other innovative solutions in transportation to markets across Europe and beyond. Our bus company is already delivering hundreds hydrogen-powered vehicles to numerous locations, contributing to the progress of zero emission mobility in Europe. 

First, legal regulations and standardization for vehicles and infrastructure, alongside a framework of financial support, are crucial for accelerating and implementing practical transportation solutions. The availability of infrastructure and of the fuel itself as well as the price for the end customer represent two of the biggest challenges today. 

The development of infrastructure plays a crucial role in advancing hydrogen mobility. To fully realize its potential, increased investment in infrastructure is essential. Specifically, the establishment of multi-purpose hydrogen refueling stations capable of serving various transport modes is of utmost importance. According to EAFO data, at the end of 2021, European Union had only 136 hydrogen refueling points! 

From the point of view of road and rail mobility, technological solutions are already available today, not only at the level of pilot programs, but regularly operating commercial solutions such as fuel cells – for example, on public transport. 

On another front, the cost of 1kg of hydrogen in a specific purity class is also extremely important. Hydrogen as fuel has a relatively high price compared to alternative solutions, and it is still far from a competitive cost. Especially the part that cannot count on various types of subsidies and funds, whether for the purchase of means of transport or for the purchase of fuel. 

Finally, an extremely important issue is what kind of hydrogen we are talking about. As we know, hydrogen has been attributed colors according to the method of production: gray, green, blue, and even pink. The important question is whether we focus only on green hydrogen, or whether, at least in the transitional phase, we also allow and support the large-scale production and distribution of grey or blue hydrogen – which is currently the case in most implemented projects. 

Hydrogen ecosystem represents a unique opportunity for Europe. And we cannot afford not being at the forefront of hydrogen technology and economy in the future. Technological innovation is at the heart of European industry, and we have the responsibility to lead this transition worldwide, for our future generations. And for that purpose, we need the holistic collaboration of all stakeholders and institutions".
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