THE leaders of Spain, Portugal, and France have agreed on a €2.5 billion plan for a green hydrogen pipeline that should become operational by 2030.
The deal was struck in Alicante on Friday with Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, saying the new corridor would carry 10% of all hydrogen consumed within the EU.
The use of green hydrogen is said to be crucial for decarbonising industries that are difficult to electrify like steel and cement production.
Pipelines would carry renewable hydrogen from Portugal to Zaragoza and then from Barcelona to Marseille.
The network was to have carried natural gas but will now be exclusively used for green hydrogen.
The EU has made hydrogen the cornerstone of its strategy to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 with the share of hydrogen in the block’s energy mix predicted to reach 20% by the middle of the century.
Sanchez said that EU funds could cover half of the cost of the massive infrastructure project.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, confirmed that the three countries will submit the project to the European Commission before December 15 to have it declared as a ‘project of common interest’ to get the EU cash.
“This changes the trend for the Iberian Peninsula because we aren’t going to be energy importers; we’ll be producers and exporters to the rest of Europe,” said Portugal’s Prime Minister, Antonio Costa.
Also present at the meeting in Alicante, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the H2MED project is ‘going in the right direction’ as it ‘has the potential to help us build a real European hydrogen backbone’.
Von der Leyen said the EU aims to produce 10 million tons of green hydrogen by the end of the decade and import another 10 million tons.