Hydrogen trains can represent the first step towards that energy revolution of which Italy wants to be a protagonist. state Railways and the energy company Snam they are convinced of it. To assess the technical-economic feasibility and new business models related to the development and diffusion of hydrogen rail transport in Italy, the two companies signed a agreement, the first in Europe between a national railway operator and an energy operator. The memorandum provides for the carrying out of analyzes and feasibility studies and the development of joint projects on railway lines convertible to hydrogen on the national territory.

Thus hydrogen will power the trains of the future

The objective is to evaluate possible pilot projects that envisage the replacement of fossil fuels with hydrogen. The two companies intend to experiment with innovative solutions related to the production, transport, compression, storage, supply and use of hydrogen to promote sustainable mobility, also participating in joint initiatives subject to potential funding or public tender. .

Dependence on fossil fuels

For the Italian railway system, hydrogen represents a great opportunity. In fact, 28% of the national grid is not electrified. This means that almost 5,000 kilometers out of a total of about 16,800 kilometers of railway lines are still traction diesel. Due to the environmental characteristics of the Italian territory not all lines can be easily electrified and in these cases hydrogen can be an opportunity to say goodbye to fossil fuels. The agreement signed with Snam confirms the importance, for FS Italiane, of encouraging sustainable mobility, in full consistency with the European guidelines of the Green New Deal, declares theCEO of the FS Italiane group, Gianfranco Battisti. We continue to innovate and develop safe and ecological mobility solutions that will allow new generations to live in a more sustainable and competitive country, according to a model that increasingly places people at the center. In this sense, hydrogen rail transport represents a fundamental innovation capable of making the journeys of passengers and goods on the remaining railway lines not yet electrified more environmentally friendly.

Building an Italian hydrogen supply chain

In June Snam had signed a five-year collaboration agreement with Alstom, which in 2021 will bring the Coradia iLint, the hydrogen train that in Germany already working. The new agreement signed with FS Italiane marks a new step in the promotion of a hydrogen supply chain in Italy starting from sectors that are crucial for decarbonisation such as the transport of people and goods, explains theCEO of Snam, Marco Alver. Thanks to the collaboration between FS Italiane and Snam, we aim to create infrastructures to rapidly convert trains currently powered by diesel in Italy to hydrogen and thus acquire a technological leadership to be capitalized also at an international level.
For Italy this is a decisive challenge, as il Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli at the opening of the Energy Talks organized by Corriere della sera and Rcs Academy. We have a competitive advantage due to our geographical location close to the countries of North Africa where photovoltaic and wind power can grow – underlined Patuanelli – Italy already has a cutting-edge transport infrastructure, we must exploit it.

October 21, 2020 (change October 21, 2020 | 13:58)

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