SPAIN is to splash €1.55 billion on clean hydrogen production in a bid to become European leader in the new technology.
It has earmarked EU cash to support a dash for hydrogen, seeing it as seed money for private investment.
A government spokesman said: “Firm support for this technology will stimulate investors to mobilise up to €8.9 billion between now and 2030.”
The government’s ambition is to have 4 GW of electrolysers in 10 years to produce green hydrogen.
Hydrogen can be burned to produce electricity to power cars with refills far faster than charging batteries directly.
But producing the gas is an energy-intensive process, which at the moment usually uses natural gas.
This defeats the point of using hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels in the battle against climate change.
However, clean hydrogen is made by electrolysis of water using renewable sources of electricity such as wind turbines and solar panels. The only by-product when it is burned is – more water.
The Spanish government announcement of its push towards hydrogen followed hot on the heels of an announcement by American company Cummins and Iberdrola of an initial investment of €50 million to build an electrolyser plant in Guadalajara in Castilla y Leon.
“Spain offers a strong and dynamic local environment for hydrogen production, and we are excited to invest here and significantly increase our manufacturing capacity in Europe,” said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO of Cummins.
“Our partnership with Iberdrola will connect us with a major clean energy company and strategically positions us to be a European leader in green hydrogen production.
“We believe that this is just the start of our expansion into new markets, bringing new clean technology to customers, and supporting efforts to bring the European Union’s Green Deal to fruition.
Ignacio Galan, Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola, said: “This initiative will accelerate the production of green hydrogen in Spain and will create a new industry, the manufacturing of electrolyser systems, with high growth potential. We continue to make progress in our ambitious plan to put Spain and Europe at the global forefront of this technology by reducing energy dependence and fossil fuel consumption while driving the country’s economic and social revitalization.”
The planned facility, which will initially be 22,000 square meters, is anticipated to open in 2023, creating 350 new jobs as production ramps up.