09 November 2020
"We have to do our homework first", Dr. Walter Huber replied to a question whether we need to increase import of hydrogen to foster a hydrogen economy in Europe. "There is a discussion on whether we should import hydrogen produced in North Africa. This is the wrong discussion, we need to strengthen our regional hydrogen economy by using efficiency potentials in production, transport and thus creating regional added value."
Dr. Walter Huber, member of the board of the Institute for Innovative Technologies in Bolzano, Italy and a pioneer of hydrogen technology was one of the speakers at the Scandria®Alliance Autumn Online Seminar, held 4th November 2020 as an online event, hosted by the Joint Spatial Planning Department Berlin-Brandenburg heading the Scandria®Alliance, a collaboration of regions in the Scandria®Corridor stretching from Scandinavia to the Adriatic Sea. About 50 participants followed impulses from regions in the entire Scandria®Corridor, adressing the core issues discussed within the Scandria®Alliance: clean fuels, cross-border infrastructure and digital, multimodal transport.
Dr. Walter Huber as well as Petter Christiansen, Climate Advisor in the City of Oslo presented ambitions towards clean transport along the Brenner Corridor and in Oslo, largely based on fuel cell and battery electric vehicles. Jonas Karlsson, CEO of Oslo Sthlm 2:55 AB as well as Henrik Saske, director of the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation "New Railway Line Dresden-Prague" showcased the plans and challenges associated with cross-border railway projects between Oslo and Stockholm or Dresden and Prague. Felix Käufler, Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development complemented these cross-border perspectives by a broader view on corridors, and their capitalisation for regional development by Corridor Capitalisation Plans, developed within the project CORCAP. Giuseppe Luppino, head of the Unit European Projects at the Institute for Transport and Logistics in Bolzano introduced how logistics comptence centres are able to link regional logistics environments and academic ressources at a European level within the network OpenEnLocc and Lasse Nykänen, Vediafi Oy Helsinki, informed about the European project FEDeRATED, aiming to improve the transparancy and interoperability of digital platforms by standardising interfaces and procedures.
It was common sense, that decarbonisation and digitalisation of transport are the main challenges for the future. Joint efforts in the Scandria®Corridor can make a difference, not only by sharing knowledge but also by creating relevance, i.e. when pushing car manufacturers to deliver urgently needed clean fuel vehicles, scaling up the market for hydrogen, when positioning for a higher priority of cross-border rail transport in national transport planning or when participating in the development of open and transparent digital supply chains. Thus, there is a good momentum to support each other with the homeworks to be done.
A contribution from the European Commission presented by Nora Schindler from the Joint Spatial Planning Department Berlin-Brandenburg, made clear that the European Union will further stress the contribution of TEN-T policy to the Green Deal with special emphasize and clean fuels, digitalisation and cross-border rail transport. Dr. Jürgen Neumüller, head of Unit European Spatial Development at the Joint Spatial Planning Department Berlin-Brandenburg, underlined, that this is fully in line with the aims of the Scandria®Alliance, that is ready to support corridor regions in their activties towards mobility transition. He highlighted, the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic may have and the need to assess and discuss effects on transport in the corridor regions, a task that is on the desk right now. He stressed, that the Scandria®Alliance is an open collaboration and invited participants to join the discussion within the Scandria®Alliance working groups.