The growth of renewable energy and the need for hydrogen infrastructure in the Baltic Sea Region

On 8th May 2024, the Estonian Hydrogen Cluster hosted a renewables and hydrogen infrastructure-themed seminar called “The growth of renewable energy and the need for hydrogen infrastructure in the Baltic Sea Region” in Tallinn’s Parliament. The session highlighted the key roles of renewables and hydrogen infrastructure and how vital cooperation is across the hydrogen value chain and the Baltic Sea Region. To fully utilise the potential of renewable energy and meet decarbonisation targets, we have to think big!
Annely Akkerman.

The day included an introduction from Annely Akkermann (member of Estonian Parliament and Chair of the Hydrogen Technology and Renewable Energy Support Group) and an introduction of Hydrogen Valley Estonia by Marek Alliksoo. Sven Parkel (General Manager of the Estonian Hydrogen Cluster) introduced the BalticSeaH2 project and discussed the importance of green hydrogen value chains.

The first session looked at how much renewable energy will be produced and how much is needed. This commenced with a presentation by Rene Tammist (Chairman of the Management Board of Utilitas Wind), who introduced Utilitas’ renewables development plans, as well as a green hydrogen pilot project near Tallinn, which is due to go live by the end of 2024. Dovydas Šabūnas (P2X Team Lead at Ignitis Renewables) took a deeper dive into how Power-to-X solutions can provide opportunities linked to renewables development and decarbonisation in Lithuania. Kaarel Kuusk (Head of Partnerships and Hydrogen Projects at Eesti Energia) presented Eesti Energia’s ambitious plans of incorporating up to 100ktpa green hydrogen in their activities by 2040. Joonas Vänto (Director of Estonian Investment Agency) presented Estonia’s foreign investment pipeline, highlighting 12TWh of additional green energy demand that these would bring about. The session concluded with an interesting panel discussion featuring all of the presenters and Priit Ilomets (Head of the Hydrogen Technologies Unit at Metrosert), highlighting the potential of renewable energy and hydrogen and how collaboration is the key to progress.

Panel at event.

The second session focused on hydrogen infrastructure, with Elina Mäki (RDI project manager at Gasgrid) presenting Finland’s plans for hydrogen infrastructure. Vytautas Ruolia (Commercial Director at Amber Grid) then talked about Lithuania’s plans for hydrogen infrastructure before Steven Sepp (Development Lead at Estonian Hydrogen Cluster) presented the Estonian perspective. The day concluded with an insightful panel discussion featuring all of the presenters and Siim Iimre (R&D Manager at Elering), highlighting the importance of hydrogen infrastructure planning and development in the context of renewables and the hydrogen economy.

Watch the seminar recording below