These types of use cases are where the MS region

wants to apply hydrogen power. Purely battery

powered electric vehicles that would be suitable

for the conditions of these specific tracks simply

do not exist on the market today. The region is now

deciding which new train units to buy, and the image

of the MS region using diesel trains for the next half

a century seems very bad. A powerful source of

hydrogen will be installed in Krnov, which will allow

us to operate not only express connections, but also

passenger trains. The hydrogen cluster’s role here

is as a coordinator that manages all of the subjects

and investors involved. We want to reach the point

where we would be able to offer hydrogen power

to less industrially developed partner regions such

as the Olomouc region, where these trains would

be headed.

The problem with humanity

“is that

we are good at dealing

with the tangible, such as fuels,

but dealing with the intangible, such

as energy, is currently a problem.

Are there any hidden complications ahead?

The region has decided that it wants this technology.

Hydrogen technology is very complex, and it

cannot be done on a small scale. Public and train

transportation is just a soft start within the field.

The success of the effort as a whole will be centred

around the development of our industry.

Our region is already out of the very early stages and

we need to move on towards building infrastructure,

but we are hampered by the European legislature.

We are trying to fulfil and realise our intentions,

however, this cannot be 100% guaranteed. At

the same time, we are trying to make use of

the window of downtime we now have until 2027,

when the conditions of application and production

of sustainable hydrogen will come into effect across

all of Europe. Time is of the essence, because after

this grace period, countries with more expansive

renewable and natural resources, such as the sea,

lots of sunshine, etc. will become our largest


We want people to understand that change is

already happening, and for them to be tenacious to

the point where Europe would notice that our region

is good at what we do and that there is no way back.

Only then can we truly become partners to Brussels

that cannot be ignored. There is no testing period,

we have to nail it on our first try without upsetting

the trust of potential partners and the local citizens.

The government is not exactly actively helping us,

however, the least they could do is clear the way so

that we do not also have to juggle our own country’s

legislature. This would allow us to create something

like a “European sandbox,” giving us space to

make positive decisions like a five year pardon

from the construction legislature for hydrogen

technology applications, and so on. The European

legislature wants us to maintain an absolute standard

of purely green hydrogen. If this were to become

even a little more lenient, which the opportunities

for this do exist, that would allow us to produce

greatly improved results and complete our projects

very quickly.

Is it better to provide interested parties with

a lot of facts, or is it more important to develop

the impression they get?

Nowadays, impressions seem to be more powerful

than facts. Customers are more likely to learn about

and purchase technologies according to their

impressions. We are oversaturated with facts, as

they are widely and quickly available to anyone.

This means that we return to the instinct of making

decisions based on impressions.

Hydrogen has a wide roster of uses and can be

used to solve many different problems (heating,

oxygen for industrial use, etc.). The infrastructure

for it only has to be paid for once. We have railway

tracks, pipelines, processing facilities… Hydrogen

is definitely a better path when compared to

massive electrification with its complex lithium ion

buildings, long construction bureaucracy and need

for individual solutions. Furthermore, hydrogen is

very compatible with electromobility as well. We

probably have no other options anyway.

Consider the following examples: Our entire private

regional transportation, which includes maybe

around 1 000 buses, would use around 15 tons of

hydrogen per day. The Třinec and Liberty smelteries

together would use around 1 000 tons per day

to produce 5 million tons of steel annually. If you

would add the consumption of a couple other

large subjects within the region, this would feasibly

sustain business within hydrogen economics. Even

if the big smelteries would decide not to solve their

energy consumption issues through hydrogen, but

for example, arc furnaces instead, they would still

require the same amount of energy and strengthened

power lines. In the end, this would also require the

equivalent of another Temelín power plant when

it comes to energy. Our industrial region makes

use of many different materials and resources,

such as coal, petroleum and electricity. Hydrogen

offers great business potential, is relatively easy to

handle, and is a lot easier to store and transport than

electricity. Hydrogen has the largest concentration

of energy per ton (not per unit of volume). Our

region has a great opportunity here to cover its

increasing energy usage.

Mr. Minařík, thank you for the interview.

Text: redakce

Foto: MSK

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