This technology is a great opportunity for the energy industry. And most Poles don't know about it

This technology is a great opportunity for the energy industry.  And most Poles don't know about it

Only slightly more than one third of Poles see hydrogen as an energy carrier. Interestingly, the older part of society is more aware of the opportunities offered by this element in energy and transport.

Hydrogen is a completely new technology about which we, as Poles, as Polish society, have little knowledge. If we know anything about hydrogen at all, it is from elementary school. We know that there is a chemical element that has the symbol H, some people know that it is the lightest element and that is basically where this knowledge ends. – says Dr. Marek Troszyński, head of the Digital Civilization Observatory at Collegium Civitas.

According to a study conducted on a group of over 2,000 Poles aged 18-65 show that only 38 percent respondents indicate hydrogen as an energy carrier. Interestingly, while in the case of other alternative energy sources the greatest awareness occurs in younger age groups, in the case of this element the opposite is true. Hydrogen is mentioned as an energy carrier by 47%. people aged 50-65, while in other age groups (18-29, 30-39, 40-49) it is 34%. asked.

The vast majority of associations with hydrogen among respondents have a descriptive, technical, scientific or practical dimension, without a clear emotional connotation. Generally, society does not have clearly formed ideas about hydrogen, which would indicate, on the one hand, clear fears or anxieties, and, on the other, technological optimism.

Most people are unable to answer questions about how we use hydrogen today, especially in the energy sector. – says Dr. Marek Troszyński. – It is difficult to talk about attitudes towards hydrogen when there is so little knowledge about it. Generally, people do not associate hydrogen, they know very well that there are cars using traditional fuels, electric cars, we also know, for example, that hydrogen is used to power buses or cars, but we do not know how it works, therefore we cannot be afraid.

Only 1 percent surveyed very often and 4 percent She often heard about the possibility of heating houses using hydrogen. Only 19 percent often or very often heard about hydrogen cars in the media, and 21 percent about such buses. The report of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego shows that currently approximately 6 percent investments of local governments in zero-emission transport are hydrogen buses. By 2028, this percentage is expected to increase to 17%.

What we know about hydrogen often comes from popular culture and the media. These are pictures of burning airships, huge aircraft that were filled with hydrogen. Today we use hydrogen in a completely different way, we use it as an energy carrier, for example for transport. Hydrogen buses are already operating in many cities in Poland, and they are often indistinguishable from buses powered by electricity or diesel engines. In other words, we use hydrogen energy today, very often without realizing it – assessed by an expert from the Łukasiewicz Research Network – ITECH and Collegium Civitas. – However, in the media, when we talk about hydrogen, the dominant expert voice is represented by business representatives. This is the voice of representatives of companies that produce and use hydrogen, so these interlocutors naturally only talk positively about hydrogen.

74 percent respondents indicated that they needed information about new ways of obtaining electricity. The authors of the report attribute this to the energy crisis that we have been facing since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, resulting in serious increases in electricity prices. Respondents indicated that they would most like to receive information about new energy solutions from experts and scientists (62%). 47 pointed to traditional media, and 35 percent – on social media. According to 37 percent such information should come from official state sources.

We should talk about hydrogen energy and show it in a way that is understandable to people. Use the media, both traditional ones, such as the press and television, as well as social media, to explain and show the opportunities and threats related to hydrogen energy. In a changing Europe that promotes green hydrogen, it is high time to pass at least the high school leaving exam in hydrogen – convinces Dr. Marek Troszyński.

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