As Europe seeks to move way from fossil fuels, Spain is racing ahead in developing green hydrogen, aided by a growing wind and solar power complex in efforts to decarbonise its economy.
Spain accounted for 20 percent of the world’s green hydrogen projects in the first quarter, second only to the United States, home to more than half of them.
“Spain has become a very attractive country for green hydrogen,” EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to the country in May. “A shift is happening … to mass-scale competitive hydrogen”.
Green hydrogen is produced by passing an electric current through water to split it between hydrogen and oxygen, a process called electrolysis. It is considered green because the electricity comes from renewable sources of energy that don’t create any harmful emissions.
And while fossil fuels emit harmful greenhouse gases when they burn, hydrogen only emits harmless water vapour.
The technology is part of EU efforts to become climate neutral by 2050.
Green hydrogen could replace coal in heavy industries such as steel mills. It can also be used to make fertiliser and is being considered as a potential fuel for buses, trains and aircraft in the future.
Spain has “great potential” because it has a well-developed renewables sector, with important solar and wind resources, said Javier Brey, president of the Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2).