Wednesday, March 29

Spain, the great promise of green hydrogen

Hydrogen. / ADOBE STOCK

Madrid and Barcelona host two international congresses for the deployment of this energy vector

Jose A. Gonzalez

The hydrogen train stops this Wednesday in Spain and “we are not going to lose it,” says Javier Brey, president of the Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2). Madrid becomes the European capital of this new energy vector with the celebration of the European Hydrogen Congress 2022 (EHEC). Meanwhile, 600 kilometers away, Barcelona hosts the first Green Hydrogen General Assembly, organized by The Green Hydrogen Organization (gH2).

Two agoras that will have this energy vector at the center of the debate. “There is a firm commitment to move towards green hydrogen,” says Brey. Spain has already allocated 1,555 million euros in a Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) to which must be added another 2,800 million of private investment. “We have decided that it is a key project and where we are not going to miss the boat,” Brey confides.

A journey to which the private initiative has joined with numerous projects underway. “We know the technology, now it remains to be seen how it will be applied and we are working on that”, reveals the president of AeH2. In fact, a report by the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie endorses these words.

In the first three months of 2022, 20% of the hydrogen projects presented have Spain as their epicenter

In the first three months of 2022, the world ‘learned’ 75 new projects related to this energy vector. Spain is responsible for two out of ten of them, only surpassed by the United States. In addition, almost 40% of the 5,200 MW in hydrogen projects that were announced throughout Europe until last summer are located in our country, according to data collected by the Bank of America.

This week, more than 750 attendees from 35 countries will gather at the Madrid forum to “continue promoting the use of hydrogen technologies worldwide”, reveal the organizers of the European congress. Three days of debate “announcements and news” -says Brey- with a strong presence from the Old Continent and almost half from outside it. “Above all, it is an event to continue working on the application of this energy vector,” he warns.

The energy of 2030

This edition is the fourth to be held after those of 2005, 2014 and 2018 and it does so in full expansion of the hydrogen fever. “It is the oldest one celebrated in our country,” recalls Brey, and, in addition, this year will feature, among others, the video participation of Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

“It is an international movement that one cannot get off,” warns the president of the Spanish Hydrogen Association. The Hydrogen Strategy of the European Union (EU) contemplates investing in this technology more than 400,000 million dollars until the year 2030. “There are only eight years left,” warns Brey.

“We are going to be able to produce hydrogen to satisfy all our demand and also export it to northern Europe”

Javier Brey

President of the Spanish Hydrogen Association

For its part, the Spanish plans are set black on white in the 2020 Hydrogen Roadmap. A commitment to hydrogen that sets out a series of national objectives for the end of this decade. Among them, reaching 4 GW of production capacity.

“We are going to be able to produce hydrogen to meet all our demand and also export it to northern Europe,” advances Brey. A plan built on green hydrogen that uses renewable energies for its production. “We have the technology to produce it, now we have to develop an infrastructure for its deployment and penetration in society,” he warns.

This is perhaps the main challenge facing the industry and hydrogen as an alternative for the future. “Actually, we already use hydrogen,” counters Brey. Currently, the industry “is achieved through fossil fuels”, explains the president of AeH2, “what is known as gray hydrogen”, he adds.

Now, the adjective is ‘green’, “this is Spain’s bet,” answers Brey. A new vector that is obtained by electrolysis, decomposition of water molecules (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2), from renewable sources.

“We are starting to talk about the hydrogen economy with local production, energy security and an alternative fuel”, explains the president of AeH2. “We expect that in 2030, the industry will use 125,000 tons of hydrogen for its operation.”

At the moment, the Iberian Peninsula is established as the testing ground for this new energy due to its great potential for wind and solar energy production. “We are going to do it on a large scale and very cheaply,” Brey points out.

Interest that is also reflected in the business commitment to Spain and Portugal and by those attending the European congress held in Madrid and which has the support of the European Hydrogen Association (EHA), Hydrogen Europe (HE), Hydrogen Europe Research , Hydrogen Technology Collaboration Program (IEA Hydrogen TCP), International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE), International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (IJHE), Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) and the Community of Madrid.

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