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V4 energy ministers discuss hydrogen in Budapest

Energy ministers of the Visegrad Group -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia -- discussed the planning and establishment of a European hydrogen ecosystem at a meeting in Budapest on Tuesday.

Government officials in charge of energy from Germany and Austria also attended the meeting virtually.

Innovation and Technology Minister Laszlo Palkovics said cooperation at the national and the European level is “very important” to advance investment projects in innovative areas and the development of new technologies. Establishing forums that promote cooperation with market players and address regulatory issues should be a focus of governments’ joint efforts, he added.

Palkovics noted that all six of the countries represented at the meeting already have or are drafting their own hydrogen strategies.

Slovak Minister of Economy Richard Sulik said his country will soon put hydrogen-powered buses into operation in a city with a population of 30,000.

Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Sikela pointed out geopolitical risks, noting that none of the V4 can be self-sufficient in hydrogen production. Subsidies policy and energy market regulation are key, he added.

Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa also said geopolitical factors must be weighed.

After the meeting, the sides signed a joint declaration on strengthening energy transformation, energy security and the European electricity transmission system as well as the establishment of a connected European hydrogen ecosystem.

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