Around 80 experts from European ministries of defence, EU bodies, industry and academia participated in the first two-day hydrogen thematic workshop of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS).
The European Defence Agency organised its first CF SEDSS III thematic workshop on hydrogen on 11-12 October 2022 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, under the auspices of the Slovenian Ministry of Defence. Entitled 'Decarbonising defence through hydrogen solutions', the workshop brought together experts of the CF SEDSS Working Group 2 on Renewable Energy Sources and the Transversal Working Group. The primary scope of the workshop was to explore the opportunities for decarbonising the defence sector using clean hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. It also allowed the participants to become more familiar with the EU strategic context and policy framework on hydrogen.
In his welcome speech, State Secretary of Slovenia Damir Črnčec shared his perspectives on the importance of hydrogen in supporting the green transition in defence. He provided examples of sustainable mobility projects and the search for alternative fuels in Slovenia, supporting the EU efforts to increase the sustainability of the defence sector. Mr Črnčec stressed that the deployment of hydrogen technologies requires the integration of a wide range of relevant sectors and stakeholders, such as industry and research organisations, highlighting that the participation of the defence sector in these initiatives is a necessity. He concluded by emphasising the role of EDA in identifying and promoting this important topic through activities like CF SEDSS.
Catharina Sikow-Magny, director of green transition and energy system integration at the European Commission Directorate General for Energy, presented the Commission’s strategy and actions on the development and deployment of renewable and low carbon hydrogen in the future energy system. Ms Sikow-Magny's presentation served as a prelude to a discussion on the role that the defence sector can play in supporting the EU efforts for climate neutrality and improved security of supply by preparing an increased share of renewable and low carbon hydrogen.
During the two breakout sessions of the workshop, infrastructure and transportation, experts looked more closely into the benefits and challenges of introducing hydrogen in the defence sector, according to the selected topic. In this regard, the workshop provided an opportunity for ministries of defence, supported by the industry and academia, to share ideas and knowledge and generate hydrogen-related project ideas that will be further developed in the CF SEDSS framework, including at the upcoming 5th CF SEDSS Conference, to be held on 30 November-1 December 2022 in Prague, hosted by the Czech Ministry of Defence, under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.