Spain is becoming one of Europe’s new hydrogen hubs, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a press conference in Barcelona on Friday, adding that the country has always been a “front runner” in the NextGenerationEU plan.
“This is a defining moment for Europe and for our future,” von der Leyen said at the Cercle d’Economia awards ceremony in the Catalan capital, EURACTIV’S partner EFE reported.
“Today, I can tell you with certainty that Europe is seizing its moment. We are tapping into the true power of our union,” she stressed.
The EU has provided member states with roughly €100 billion in investment to reshape the bloc’s economy as part of the NextGenerationEU, an EU-funded post-pandemic recovery package, the EU Commission chief added. “It is an unprecedented plan with investment and reform, and this plan can reshape our economy for decades ahead,” she said.
“Spain has built through the years a resilient energy system, (…) You are a global leader in clean energy. You have a dynamic and innovative economy,” she said.
Referring to the need for Europe to end its dependency on Russian fossil fuels, von der Leyen said Spain, and in particular Catalonia, played an important role.
“NextGenerationEU will also contribute to turning Catalonia into one of Europe’s new hydrogen valleys. This region is the perfect setting for it, (…) you are creating a full hydrogen ecosystem,” she said.
“Today, Spain is at the heart of Europe,” von der Leyen also said.