Spain bets on hydrogen, by Robert Tornabell

Spain bets on hydrogen, by Robert Tornabell

If the way of obtaining energy from Germany, France and Spain is compared, it is very clear that they have opted for different models. The most industrialized needed for its energy-intensive industries combined cycle plants based on gas imported from Russia and coal. It has three nuclear power plants and due to the blockade of supplies from Russia it has decided to open two of the nuclear ones and the coal ones. It has recently contracted with Qatar for the supply of natural gas, but it only represents 3% of its consumption. France is the opposite model. EDF was listed on the stock exchange and had more than 80 nuclear power plants. Finally, the Republic has nationalized it (it already had the majority of the shares). Rusty or leaking plants are being repaired and 77% of electricity production will continue to be nuclear, 8% by combined cycle gas and 7% hydropower.


Costa, Von der Leyen, Sánchez and Macron


Spain has seven nuclear plants and was supposed to close them in 2027, but it was decided to extend their life until the period 2030-2035. Due to recent events, it seems that the Government is committed to green energy (hydrogen). First, it signed a protocol with one of the largest shipping companies in the world (Maersk) and despite the Danish company having seven other large suppliers, one in China, it chose Spain to install two green hydrogen production plants in Andalusia and Galicia. They would produce two million tons a year, creating 85,000 jobs. Cepsa, for its part, will invest 3,000 million euros to produce 300,000 tons of green hydrogen per year in Andalusia. And the BarMar gas pipeline, which will link the port of Barcelona with that of Marseille, can transport the hydrogen produced in Barcelona. France has an extensive network of pipelines that will supply the port of Rotterdam and from there it will reach the networks of Germany and Austria.

Euskadi and Navarra had anticipated green energy projects with the so-called “hydrogen valley”. To produce it, the supply of renewables is needed and the CAF company has solved the traction of freight train machines using green hydrogen as fuel. Railways can dispense with diesel locomotives and replace them with green hydrogen ones. And all urban bus fleets in Spain could run on hydrogen. Catalonia does not have enough renewables, necessary when the industry needs to have “proximity” energy. Today they only contribute 8%. But there are solutions to combine green fuels with renewables that take advantage of gusts of wind day and night, and nuclear fuels allow a continuous supply, because renewables have a production that can be syncopated depending on the wind and the nights.

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