Turkey aims to utilize hydrogen in several energy sector areas including renewables, heating and transportation, according to Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez on Wednesday.
Speaking at a workshop entitled; Scout Meetings in Energy: Hydrogen, organized by the ministry, Donmez described hydrogen as 'the energy carrier of the future” and relayed that this element is at the center of current discussions to widen its use in Turkey.
Hydrogen will be part of Turkey’s short and long-term goal to ensure security of energy supply, Donmez said.
In an attempt to decrease the usage of oil, natural gas and other fuels that have a negative impact on the environment and climate, Turkey have boosted efforts to add clean sources to its energy mix, which in turn will also help it become less dependent on imported goods.
One of these efforts published on Dec. 27 was in the introduction of Turkey’s first indigenous automobile prototype - an all-electric vehicle.
The electric car was designed and a prototype manufactured in 18 months by Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG), a conglomerate of industrial giants including the Anadolu Group, BMC, Koc Group, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding as well as an umbrella organization, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.
Hydrogen will have a part to play in these efforts in four different application areas, by putting 'indigenousness' at the heart of its energy strategy, Donmez explained.
'These include more incorporation of renewable energy to the system - the decarbonization of the heating sector, hydrogen production from local coal and increasing the use of boron through using hydrogen as a storage and conservation material,' he explained.
The minister underlined the importance of producing hydrogen and liquid fuel from coal given the possibility of a reduction in emissions-free transportation costs over the long term.
- First inflow of hydrogen planned for 2021
The natural gas sector has already begun studies to use hydrogen with its first inflow to the distribution system projected to start by the end of 2021 at the latest. However, Donmez noted that this initial step would be an experimental one to test the success of a working system rather than a major start to hydrogen deployment.
Hydrogen is also of major interest to the global transport sector particularly as electric transportation is still a costly option for heavy goods transportation, Donmez said.
'We have an option to provide clean transportation through producing hydrogen from our local coal. Although the costs are currently high [for this option], a bus can travel 1,030 kilometers with hydrogen that is produced from 1 tonnes of coal on top of which it would be without emissions,' he said.
After the program, the minister tested a hydrogen-powered car developed by Turkey's Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK) and Turkey's National Boron Research Institute (BOREN).
Reporting by Gulsen Cagatay and Gokce Topbas
Writing by Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu