Manuel Heitor, the Portuguese Minister of Science was one of the main guests at the opening of the INL Hydrogen Summit 2020, last October 28, and acknowledged INL for bringing up this highly relevant topic for the decarbonization of Europe.
Manuel Heitor underlined that “we need to introduce a new balance between economic activity and the planet Earth, being hydrogen part of the plan towards the only way we can promote sustainable development”. The representative of the Portuguese Government guaranteed that “we will continue the path set by the German presidency of the EU in the promotion of Hydrogen in 2021 when Portugal will have the presidency”.
According to Manuel Heitor, “there are five grand challenges” regarding hydrogen as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
“The first is the chemistry of Hydrogen. We don’t know enough. We only know there’s no generation of CO2, but we don’t know yet what will be the secondary effects of the oxid of nitrogen coming from hydrogen use”.
Nanotechnology and INL will play a key role
“The second, which is particularly important for INL and for the type of alliances that INL has been promoting throughout Europe is to look carefully at chemical processes and particularly at chemical instruments such as electrolyzers. The development of cells in the years to come, which can only be done using nanotechnology, is particularly critical for the use of hydrogen in a range of different equipment and uses. Again, the centrality of INL within the Hydrogen strategy is very critical, among many other institutions throughout Europe looking at nanotechnology.
Manuel Heitor then urged scientific research organizations to cooperate. “My main message is to appeal to the articulation of European research organizations in different ways to move further because the challenge is so large that we need to better articulate the skills existing in different institutions. Instead of duplicate, we need to articulate so that Europe can take the lead in this field”.
“The third challenge is transportation. We need safe networks and this represents a major challenge. We will need sensors to make sure that the transportation of Hydrogen is safe”.
“The fourth challenge is storage, and the fifth and last great challenge is the usage at large of Hydrogen in our daily lives, in our cities, for transportation and everywhere”.
The Portuguese Minister of Science renewed Portugal’s commitment towards the adoption of Hydrogen within the national and European strategies, in the shortest period possible.
We take this opportunity to share with you the recordings of Day 1 and Day 2 of the Summit here: