Bulgaria is slowly but surely adopting hydrogen in public transport
Experts presented a portfolio of projects on rapid hydrogen deployment, with Ruse and Sofia as the first to get a taste of the new technology
Today at the hybrid conference ‘Hydrogen Industry – Good Practices from Germany. New opportunities for Bulgaria “, teacher. Daria Vladikova a representative of the Bulgarian Hydrogen Association (BHA) presented the country’s hydrogen plans. She announced that four municipalities are ready to implement hydrogen technology in the public sector. These included Sofia, Stara Zagora, Cunning and Burgas.
The projects were developed by the BHA and are funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, a European structure designed to expand the adoption of the sustainable energy source. They include plans for 140 municipal cars, 65 modernized trolleys, as well as land freight and ships on the Danube and the associated charging infrastructure.
Gradual deployment with high potential
Professor Vladikova explained that two of the projects are in their final stages. The first cost 20 million euros and he understands 30 hydrogen buses and trolleys, with the supporting infrastructure for Sofia, the capital. The second project concerns a pusher ship refitted on the Danube at Ruse in tandem with hydrogen charging infrastructure and public transport.
Vladokova presented another project for the expansion of hydrogen to heavier vehicles, such as garbage trucks, locomotives, boats, buses and wagons. According to her, hydrogen has no alternative in terms of performance efficiency for longer journeys.
She went on to point out that batteries tend to perform better in urban environments and lighter vehicles, however, hydrogen tanks only require 5 minutes to charge and their efficiency per kilometer over longer distances is up to about the same as that of conventional fuel.
The Ministry of Education finances other hydrogen projects that are more focused on innovation. One of these projects is benchmarking to extend the distance by fuel measurement between batteries and hydrogen. The project uses carts in the city of Sofia.
Collaboration is in the air
The conference “Hydrogen Industry – Good Practices from Germany. New Opportunities for Bulgaria ”was organized by the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Bulgarien) with the aim of strengthening ties and disseminating the experience between the two countries.
The event lasted two days and was sponsored by the European Investment Bank and focused on both sides of the coin. On the first day, German representatives discussed their approach to adopting new technologies, while the second day focused on showcasing Bulgarian successes on the ground.