2020-10-07
Spain sanctions hydrogen strategy in a bid to boost low-carbon economy

Spain sanctions hydrogen strategy in a bid to boost low-carbon economy

Spain has announced that it has sanctioned a plan to boost clean hydrogen production, directing to build enough infrastructure to give it a major role in Europe’s market for a fuel perceived as key to meeting international carbon emissions targets.

The European Union is pushing to develop its capacity to produce hydrogen, extensively used in heavy industry, from renewable power sources, presently an excessively expensive process.

Spain hopes its well-developed gas storage and transport system, combined with the abundant sunshine and windy hillsides that make it a key location for renewable energy plants, will ultimately help it make enough of the fuel to export.

Madrid analyses that its hydrogen ambitions will cost $10.5 billion over the subsequent 10 years. It anticipates most of this to come from the private sector but may support projects that create jobs.

By 2030, Spain targets to install four gigawatts-worth of the electrolysers needed to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, one-tenth of the EU’s target for 40 gigawatts across the bloc, the energy, and environment ministry said in a declaration.

It aims to hit the ground running with 300-600 MW by 2024. The EU wants six gigawatts by then.

The plan is to swap a quarter of the almost 500,000 tonnes of fossil-based hydrogen consumed by industry every year with the renewably-sourced version, and put thousands of hydrogen-powered vehicles on roads and railways in Spain.

France has vowed two billion euros for hydrogen projects over the next two years, while industrial powerhouse Germany has earmarked nine billion euros by 2030.

Home-based energy giant Iberdrola is building what it labels as Europe’s biggest such project for industrial use near a former coal-mining town in Spain, for €150 million.

Oil and gas group Repsol, in the meantime, strategies to produce synthetic fuels using green hydrogen at its northern Spanish refinery in partnership with Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco.

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