Coverage from the Estonian Hydrogen Days 2021

Estonian Hydrogen Days started on the 5th of July with Conference and Expo day, which followed with a day of Science in the University of Tartu, Institute of Chemistry.

Video Recordings:


Hydrogen Conference was held at Science Centre AHHAA

To warm up the visitors of the conference 4 hydrogen cars were presented to start with. It’s nothing new about using hydrogen in Estonia. The most experienced and oldest car was presented by Estonian hydrogen and electric vehicles enthusiast Enn Siemann. This 15 years car is still in service and has a notable tiny hydrogen consumption of 0.2 g hydrogen per 100 km travelled. Hydrogen equipment installed is delivered from Ecomotus and is one of the 30’th similar installations/retrofits of the vehicles on Estonian roads today.

Another 2 Mirais and also portable Hydrogen Refuelling Station was presented by Atrado. The latest state of the art technology Toyota Mirai 2021 was of great interest to visitors.

Collection of hydrogen technologies got an addition when the Deputy Mayor of the City of Tartu / Hydrogen mayor of Estonia arrived by a Hydrogen Bicycle. A Hydrogen drone by SKYCORP was landed next to the European Space Agency (ESA) rocket in the centre of the exhibition area. It had also received an update, apparently a world’s first, since it was also able to act as an off-grid generator (at the event, used to charge phones)

PowerUp Energy Technologies showcased actual hydrogen-powered off-grid generators meant to replace polluting and noisy diesel generators.

An unknown hydrogen device was also introduced, and the organizers are asking for help in identifying the device. It is said to be a hydrogen burner, but explanatory information is welcome 😏.


Welcome from Policy

Deputy Mayor City of TartuMr. Raimond Tamm

The conference was opened by an opening speech Deputy Mayor City of Tartu – Mr. Raimond Tamm and TEN-T policy, European Coordinator for the North Sea–Baltic core network corridor – Mrs. Catherine Trautmann.

European Hydrogen policy, Hydrogen EuropeMr. Grzegors Pawelec and State of play of FCH JU Activity, Executive. Director FCH JU – Mr. Bart Biebuyck encouraged Estonians to dive into the hydrogen economy.

Mrs. Liis Kasemets from the Ministry of Environment told us about the Role of Hydrogen in achieving climate goals. The subject was complemented by an energy Estonian Energy Policy and Hydrogen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications – Mr. Jaanus Uiga. Estonian value chains for green Hydrogen, Estonian Hydrogen Cluster – Mr. Sven Parkel.

World’s First Autonomous Hydrogen Bus

In the city centre at the same time Kersti Kaljulaid, the President of Estonia lifted the covers to introduce the shuttle powered by clean hydrogen.
She was also the very first passenger on the hydrogen vehicle. “Today is definitely a significant day for the whole world but we still have so much energy, so that for us it is just a landmark on our long journey.”

Hydrogen development plans in Estonia

Hydrogen Valleys, New Energy Coalition,  Mr. Patrick Cnubben
Hydrogen Valley Roadmap – TartuEstiko EnergiaMr. Ain Tammvere
Role of Energy Cooperatives, Tartu Regional Energy Agency – Mr. Martin Kikas
Converting ambitions into action, Port of Tallinn – Mrs. Hele-Mai Metsal
From Innovation to International Cooperation, NeptHyne – Mr. Tomasz Pelc
Space for Green Applications, Tartu Science Park/ESA  – Mr. Andrus Kurvits
Alexela project pipeline,  Alexela  – Mr. Aivo Adamson
Hydrogen Refueling Stations in Estonia, Tartu Terminal – Mr. Jörgen Õigus
Self-Driving H2 Bus,  AuveTech – Mr. Johannes Mossov
Hydrogen in Transport, University of Tartu – Mr. Enn Lust
Hydrogen Backbone,  Elering – Mr. Karl Kivinurm
Hydrogen refuelling opportunities in Estonia, Atrado – Mr. Erik Kuus
Supercaps in renewables and transport, Skeleton – Mr. Egert Valmra 
CO2-free pyrolysis as an alternative to electrolysis,  – Mr. Illimar Parts

Roundtable discussion – What could be the Estonian solution?

Kristo Reinsalu, Ain Laidoja, Patrick Cnubben

Estonian solution, from where hydrogen is coming from and in which sector consumed.
For what we need hydrogen at all was the first question asked by moderator Tanel Talve.

Topics like Climate, transport on road and railway was discussed, but also aviation.
How to attract the private sector to get involved in Hydrogen Business?


“Jan Palmer, CEO of Xfly and President of the European Regions Airline Association, getting design inspiration for their planned hydrogen version of the ATR72-600”

Aviation in Europe, DG MOVE – Mr. Henrik Hololei.
Estonia – future for aviation?,
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology – Mr. Andres Sutt.
Aviation is one of the sectors difficult to decarbonise and using batteries to power aircraft is a real challenge. Hydrogen is foreseen as the solution provider for aviation by proposing hydrogen as a light energy carrier. “By 2035, aircraft with highly efficient propulsion systems and 30% less fuel consumption, could become available” was noted by Jan Palmer, CEO of Xfly.

Aviation session moderated by Marek Alliksoo, Board Member of Estonian Hydrogen Asscoation and CEO of SKYCORP

Climate Neutral Aviation Roadmap, Estonian Aviation Cluster – Mr. Kristo Reinsalu.
Hydrogen Aviation, Xfly – Mr. Jan Palmer.
Dutch experience, &Flux – Mr. Petrus Postma.
Enabling Growth, Estonian Aviation Academy – Mr. Karl-Eerik Unt.

Day of Science

Rector Toomas Asser and professor Enn Lust

Opening remarks – Rector Toomas Asser
Hydrogen technologies development in Europe, Japan and USAMr. Enn Lust
Synthesis of carbon materials and development of supercapacitors in UTPh.D Thomas Thomberg
Novel Na-ion batteries based on Estonian peat derived carbonsM.Sc. Anu Adamson
Thin-film hydrogen storage materials development in UTPh.D. Rasmus Palm
Development of PEM FC materials and devicesPh.D. Jaak Nerut
Development of solid oxide fuel cell materialsPh.D. Gunnar Nurk 
Investigation of solid oxide electrolysis cell materials and single cellsPh.D. Martin Maide
Development of first Estonian FC Car Iseauto and energy storage demo complex in ChemicumPh.D. student Rait Kanarbik

Panel Discussion

Enn Lust, Grzegors Pawelec, Thomas Thomberg, Gunnar Nurk

If you, thought that scientists always agree with each other, then you are wrong.
Should we ban Internal Combustion Engines and gas turbines even for peak shaving in electricity networks?
Is a hydrogen-powered vehicle better and greener than Battery one ?
Hydrogen to balance electricity system and what is the cost of transporting hydrogen in the gas grid.

Tour of the demo centre and  laboratories

Warm welcomes and handshakes from the University of Tartu

Batteries, Supecaps, fuel cells and electrolyser cells were found in labs.
No secrets, tonnes of questions were asked (both, wise and foolish ones ), proper science-based answers were delivered in return.
But that’s not all. For enthusiasts were given a guide to making fuel cells at home (DIY).