Spain has the “best conditions” to become Europe’s green hydrogen hub, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.
Sanchez spoke hours after US engine maker Cummins announced it would build a plant in Spain to make electrolyser systems to produce green hydrogen, a zero-carbon fuel created using renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.
The project is partly funded by Cummins, which will invest an initial €50 million, and the Spanish electric utility company Iberdrola.
The plant will be built in Guadalajara, a city outside the Spanish capital, and is expected to start green fuel production in 2023. As well as producing 500 MW/per year of hydrogen, it will create 350 jobs in the area.
A “green and sustainable Spain, respectful of the environment and biodiversity, represents an enormous leap and opportunity” for the country’s development and employment rate, Sanchez said.
More than €1.5 billion from Spain’s €70 billion recovery plan will be invested in the green hydrogen sector over the next three years, said Sanchez, adding that the technology will also encourage investors to invest up to €8.9 billion between now and 2030.
According to estimates, hydrogen will represent one-third of the fuel used for land transport and 60% for maritime transport by 2050.
Each kilogram of green hydrogen that replaces a fossil fuel will prevent nine kilograms of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere, Sanchez said.
By 2030, Spain is aiming to have 42% of renewable energies as part of its energy mix and have 74% of its electricity generated with renewables, the PM added. Sanchez said that his country is aiming for full decarbonisation by 2050.
[Edited by Daniel Eck and Josie Le Blond]