Screenshot 2023-11-21 at 17.26.50
Paldiski Hydrogen Hub
Construction is alrady underway! Looking for: INVESTORS PARTNERS
Screenshot 2023-04-17 at 21.56.04
Eesti Energia's Hydrogen Production Plant
In June 2021, Estonian state-owned energy company Eesti Energia inaugurated the country's first hydrogen production plant in Narva. The plant uses a proprietary technology developed by Eesti Energia called Hymen, which allows for the efficient and cost-effective production of hydrogen from oil shale gas. The hydrogen produced at the plant is intended for use in transportation and industry, and it is also planned to be used in Eesti Energia's own fleet of vehicles.
H2LIFE Project
The H2LIFE project is a European Union-funded initiative aimed at promoting the use of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source. Estonia is one of the participating countries in the project, and it has received funding to develop hydrogen infrastructure in the country. The project aims to establish a network of hydrogen refueling stations, promote the use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and develop a green hydrogen production facility in Estonia.
Hydrogen-Powered Public Transport
In 2020, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, launched a pilot project to test hydrogen-powered buses as part of its public transport system. The project, which is funded by the European Union, involves the use of three hydrogen fuel cell buses that emit only water vapor and have a range of up to 350 km on a single refueling. The aim of the project is to evaluate the performance of the buses and to assess the feasibility of using hydrogen as a fuel for public transport in Estonia.

Estonia is preparing for a hydrogen economy

There is probably no one who hasn’t heard of Silicon Valley in California, where tech and startup companies operate. In Estonia, however, the world’s first nationwide hydrogen valley was established this year, which works on the same principle, but is based on the hydrogen economy instead.

Hydrogen Valley Estonia (HVE) is a region where hydrogen production, consumption, distribution and its use, for example, in industry, are all together. If someone were to cut all your wires elsewhere, you would still be a green island in the middle, and you would be able to survive,” Marek Alliksoo, spokesperson for the Estonian Hydrogen Valley ecosystem and board member at the Estonian Hydrogen Association, introduces. HVE is a nationwide and comprehensive development aiming to accelerate the green transition and energy independence under the motto “Zero to Green”. Over the next six years, hydrogen production units will be developed in at least six counties.

According to Alliksoo, there are currently more than 30 companies in Estonia that already have ideas or activities related to hydrogen. However, the HVE brings companies together to complement each other and solve each other’s problems because quite a few of them have similar problems. All projects cover the hydrogen value chain throughout Estonia, from the production of renewable energy to the use of hydrogen. Most of them are currently in the concept and feasibility study phase. “You need all those participants who work together, know each other’s thoughts better and thereby create synergy,” notes Alliksoo.

This year has had a sobering effect, especially on Europe.  Russia’s war in Ukraine shows how important it is to disconnect oneself from the resources provided by a hostile country. Alliksoo indicates that offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 7 gigawatts should be coming online from 2028 onwards in Estonia, which is striving towards a green revolution. These, in turn, should cover twice the country’s energy needs by 2030, and this would enable the export of hydrogen in addition to local use.

 Marek Alliksoo


Therefore, in the next ten years, when large-scale offshore wind farms are built, Estonia will produce significantly more electricity than it can consume. It has been proposed that building a hydrogen infrastructure for large-scale energy transmission could be up to 20 times cheaper than building an infrastructure of electric cables. Sven Parkel, representative of the Estonian Hydrogen Cluster believes that the entire Baltic region and also Finland have great wind energy potential. Thus, the surplus energy produced in this region will be directed to Central Europe in the future, where there is a shortage.

The challenges of hydrogen

At the moment, the transition to an ideal hydrogen society is hindered by a lack of experience and understanding, and some knowledge has to be purchased from abroad. The transition to green hydrogen, therefore, poses a challenge to education and science because specialists who are familiar with the subject are already needed. For example, the Institute of Chemistry of the University of Tartu has been giving a free online lecture, “Fundamentals of hydrogen technology and renewable energy”, for the second year, and it has attracted a lot of interest.

“Time pressure is also an important factor because if we don’t get things going this year, the costs of doing nothing will start to rise,” warns Alliksoo. Estonia has a number of trump cards in its pocket that help speed up the transition to hydrogen energy. Alliksoo points to digital administration, which eliminates excessive bureaucracy and saves time. It can take two years to initiate a hydrogen-related venture in Germany, while in Estonia, agility, quick action, and courage to experiment set the tone.

HVE has already been joined by the maritime shipping and aviation sectors, which have a lot of equipment running on fossil fuel that could be converted to hydrogen. There are examples from other sectors as well: in 2021, the international railway company Operail and the hydrogen solutions company Stargate Rail signed an agreement to convert diesel locomotives into hydrogen locomotives. Converting one locomotive to hydrogen saves 370 tons of CO2 per year, equaling the average annual emissions of 80 passenger cars.

PowerUP Energy Technologies, on the other hand, produces portable electric generators based on hydrogen fuel cells, which, unlike diesel generators, emit no carbon dioxide, make no noise and are maintenance-free. This year the company plans to close a funding round of up to four million euros, which would allow them to quickly increase production volumes. In addition, Auve Tech (with its self-driving hydrogen bus) and Elcogen (which develops fuel cells), are recognised players in the field of hydrogen in Estonia.

 Auve Tech hydrogen bus

Small is beautiful

According to customers and research partner feedback, Elcogen provides the world’s best energy conversion processors for all manufacturers of end-user systems. Their products have two major advantages: they operate at lower temperatures and are significantly more efficient than competitor products. Elcogen’s CEO Enn Õunpuu says that Estonia’s main advantage in hydrogen technology is its size. “If we talk about fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, and more specifically about the high-temperature fuel cell technology that Elcogen offers, then Estonia’s trump card is the strong level of science in this field,” said Õunpuu.

Electrochemistry, which is the basis of fuel cell technology, has already been studied at the highest level in Estonia for more than 140 years. One of the founders of modern electrochemistry, Nobel prize winner Wilhelm Ostwald, graduated from the University of Tartu. It is also important that 21 years ago when Õunpuu founded Elcogen, a significant role was played by business partners and Estonian investors who were crazy enough to support the idea. “Today, Estonia is at the top of Europe and the world in the field of startups and unicorns per capita. This shows that the business environment in Estonia is very good, innovative ideas are valued. Estonians want to make the world a better place,” said Õunpuu.

 Enn Õunpuu

One way to change the world for the better is to strive for climate neutrality. This is exactly the goal that the city of Tartu, which also participates in the HVE initiative, has set for itself by 2030. According to Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm, hydrogen, as a very clean fuel, has a definite role in the entire movement towards nature-friendliness, especially in terms of transport. Thus, the city wants to test a smaller number of hydrogen-powered buses in the coming years and, if suitable, put them into use at the end of the decade. Another goal is to build a hydrogen filling station in Tartu, where private vehicles could be refuelled in addition to pilot buses.

So far, it can be seen that a start has been made in the field of hydrogen, and the initiatives are gaining momentum. But what steps still need to be taken? Sven Parkel from the Hydrogen Cluster says that the current high price of electricity must first be brought down, and more must be invested into the capacity of renewable energy: “On a smaller scale, we are talking about solar farms, on a larger scale we are talking about offshore wind farms, where large-scale green electricity would be produced to make green hydrogen.” In addition, issues related to infrastructure must be resolved, and regulations must be dealt with but looking at the enthusiasm of the companies and organisations involved in HVE, one would like to believe that Estonia will reach the set goals even faster than planned so far.

Interested in investing in Estonia? Find out more about the country’s energy sector here and book a time via e-Consulting to speak to your personal advisor.

Vesiniku tehnoloogia


why develop hydrogen in Estonia?

find a flexible and innovative partner with our help!

Success stories
Woola is an Estonian company that produces residual wool bubble wrap that can be used to pack delicate items. Approximately 90% of wool produced in Estonia remains unused. It makes about 153 tons of wool a year, ending either in a landfill or underground. Recently, Woola also won the title of newcomer of the year at the Estonian Startup Awards.
view video
Muuga Harbour_Renee Altrov (13)
Tallinna Sadam
The Port of Tallinn has an ambitious plan to develop a hub for the Baltic Sea green infrastructure in Estonia together with its partners, which would contribute to Estonia's climate neutrality goals and increase the country's competitiveness. The best ways to convert ferries to hydrogen are also being sought, and cruise ships will be offered the ability to refuel in the Old Port.
view video
Glamox is a leading supplier of lighting solutions for professional buildings, providing the perfect solution for schools, healthcare, commercial and commercial buildings, shops, hotels and restaurants. We are proud to present the two Luxo product families that have been awarded the Red Dot Diania Awards in the product design category.
view video

our advisors

Uus Ly
ly lepik
industrial investment advisor 56 782 056


send us a message