Future Built on Knowledge

The AMETHyST project to develop local hydrogen ecosystems in the Alpine region kicks off

April 19, 2023

The Sustainable Energy Center as partner of the project funded by the European Interreg Alpine Space Program intended to promote energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen measures for energy sufficiency in the tourist areas of the Alpine region.

Climate change and massive use of fossil fuels are having visible and tangible effects on the sensitive Alpine region and the beauty of its landscapes. It is sufficient to think of the rise of temperatures of the last two years and the lack of water. This should encourage Alpine actors to strengthen measures for the development of renewable energies and of sustainable energy systems.

A new energy vector, hydrogen (H2), has many advantages to be a key player in the energy transition. Easily produced by renewable electricity, it can be used for many purposes: mobility, industries, operations in tourist areas. AMETHyST overall objective is to support the deployment of local Alpine green hydrogen ecosystems where several green H2 applications are combined on a geographical area with high potential for H2.

This project will pave the way to the implementation of Alpine Hydrogen Valleys and an Alpine post-carbon lifestyle, through the raising of capacities and understanding of public authorities and implementation of pilot projects, with the support of sectoral agencies and innovation clusters.

This ambitious goal will be reached thanks to an international and interdisciplinary Consortium coordinated by Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Energy Environment Agency (France), and made up of other nine partners including Tenerrdis Energy Cluster Rhône-Alpes (France), Fondazione Bruno Kessler through the Center for Sustainable Energy (Italy), Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy), Energy Agency South Tyrol – CasaClima (Italy), Energy Management Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy), Energy and Climate Agency of Podravje (Slovenia), Standortagentur Tirol GmbH (Austria), Civic Foundation Energiewende Oberland (Germany), and BlueArk Entremont (Switzerland).

The Center for Sustainable Energy of the Fondazione Bruno Kessler coordinates the first of three work packages, which aims at raising awareness in the territories involved on the potential of green and low carbon hydrogen in the Alpine area, with a specific attention to the tourist sector. In particular, the researcher Eleonora Cordioli will lead numerous activities including the mapping of initiatives, technologies and economic models involving the production or use of hydrogen in the Alpine areas, and the creation of a platform for the collection and sharing of knowledge acquired as a tool for identifying best practices and development models. Several roundtables and a conference in Trentino will also be organized. These events will involve project partners, but, above all, local stakeholders, and will not only focus on sharing the results of the activities and explore the issues, but also pave the way for local initiatives, opportunities and Hydrogen Valleys and take a step forward towards the decarbonization of the Alpine areas, especially in the tourism sector.

On March 7th and 8th, Luigi Crema, Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy of FBK, and the researchers Eleonora Cordioli, Sara Stemberger and Jacopo de Maigret took part in the kick-off event for AMETHyST in Moûtiers in the French Alps. A first face-to-face working meeting of the consortium took place on the first day, which was then followed by the public conference “Hydrogen, an opportunity to decarbonise mountains areas” on the second day, in the town hall of Moûtiers.

Two roundtables were organized for discussing the role of hydrogen in touristic Alpine areas and the support hydrogen projects need to be implemented. Lively discussions emerged between the public and the speakers, demonstrating the interest in the subject and encouraging further initiatives to promote hydrogen as key energy vector for the sustainable development of mountain areas.

The launch of the AMETHYST project in Moûtiers was successful!” commented Eleonora Cordioli, researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Energy and WP Leader of AMETHyST “The kick-off meeting was a great opportunity for officially starting the activities and exchanging views with partners. We are confident that the project will help drive the transition towards sustainable Alpine territories, reinforcing the hydrogen value chain and supporting public authorities in developing local energy plans and regional strategies for the deployment of green hydrogen solutions. A step forward to the creation of Alpine H2 ecosystems.”

Luigi Crema, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy, reported that “It was a pleasure to support the event in Moûtiers. It has brought together a lot of stakeholders of the hydrogen value chain and several passionate stakeholders to boost hydrogen in several Alpine projects. The workshop/event has highlighted several important and relevant points to accelerate the hydrogen uptake, based on Alpine specific values. First of all, the need to work on innovative business cases, and in parallel to this, the need of incentives to support the realization of an attracting market framework for hydrogen.


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