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New European project to drive 95 GW of solar and 67 GW of hydrogen

A total of 30 major companies from across Europe are laying the foundations to create HyDeal Ambition, a value chain promising to provide 100% green hydrogen for €1.5/kg by 2030, matching the current price of fossil-fuel produced ‘grey’ hydrogen.

A consortium of 30 European companies has launched ‘HyDeal Ambition’, a pioneering project based in Spain that aims to provide hydrogen from renewable sources for €1.5/kg by 2030, including transmission and storage.

In a joint press release, the companies explain that they have made the launch of HyDeal Ambition official, following two years of confidential research and preparation. The initiative is scheduled to start in 2022 and aims to reach 95 GW of solar and 67 GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030. This would mean the production of 3.6 million tons per year of green hydrogen for energy, industry, and mobility users, distributed through the gas transportation and storage network. This amount is roughly equivalent to two months of oil consumption in Spain.

The main gas transporter and operator in the Spanish territory, Enagás, explains that the goal of HyDeal Ambition goes beyond the simple production of green energy, as its competitive cost will make it possible to offer green hydrogen to customers at €1.5/kg by 2030, “that is, at the same price as current fossil fuels,” according to Enagás.

The project is in its early stages, with the various agreements and collaborations involving several of the 30 member entities of HyDeal Ambition being ironed out. The first real activity is expected in Spain around a year from now, with the launch of a set of solar installations with a capacity close to 10 GW.

Project participants

Thierry Lepercq, spokesperson for HyDeal Ambition, and also founder of Soladvent and Solairedirect and former deputy director in charge of innovation at French energy giant Engie, emphasizes that the initiative “constitutes a complete industrial ecosystem, covering the entire green hydrogen value chain (upstream, midstream, downstream and finance), and is the result of two years of research, analysis, modeling, feasibility studies and contract design, aimed at enabling the production and supply of competitive green hydrogen in Europe”.

Among the participants that make up the HyDeal Ambition project are:

  • Solar developers: DH2/Dhamma Energy (Spain), Falck Renewables (Italy), Qair (France).
  • Electrolysis OEMs and Engineering, Procurement and Construction suppliers: McPhy Energy (France), VINCI Construction (France), Envision Digital.
  • Gas transmission operators: Enagás (Spain), OGE (Germany), SNAM (Italy), GRTgaz (France), Teréga (France).
  • Energy and industrial groups: Gazel Energie subsidiary of EPH (France), Naturgy (Spain), HDF Energie (France).
  • Infrastructure funds: Cube, Marguerite, Meridiam.
  • Consultants and advisors: European Investment Bank, Corporate Value Associates (CVA), Clifford Chance, Cranmore Partners, Finergreen, Envision Digital, Energy Web.

This is not the first initiative of its kind to involve such a large consortium, but it is the most ambitious: Iberdrola announced at the end of last year the formation of a global consortium to produce green hydrogen at less than US$2/kg (€1.65/kg at today’s exchange rate): Green Hydrogen Catapult is sponsored by the UN and comprising ACWA, CWP Renewables, Envision, Iberdrola, Ørsted, Yara and Snam, and plans to deploy 25 GW of renewable energy-based green hydrogen production by 2026, as well as halving the cost of green hydrogen to less than $2/kg.

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The race for green hydrogen in Spain

Since the Spanish Government’s plans to reach 4 GW of installed electrolyzer capacity by 2030, and to invest €1.5 billion in the development of green hydrogen by 2023, numerous companies have announced their plans in the sector.

Abengoa announced this week that it has completed the construction of a pilot plant to produce energy from green hydrogen as part of the European Grasshopper project.

Endesa plans to develop 2 GW of renewable energy and 23 green hydrogen projects in Spain with an aggregate investment of €2,908 million until 2024 and electrolyzers with a capacity of 340 MW, as well as the development of a national electrolyzer and capital equipment manufacturing industry.

Repsol and Acciona will produce hydrogen with floating PV in Asturias, and Acciona also participates, together with Enagás, IDAE and Cemex are launching a green hydrogen plant in Mallorca.

Enagás and Naturgy are promoting the largest green hydrogen plant in Spain: a project that will be able to produce up to approximately 9,000 tons of hydrogen per year from a 400 MW PV plant and an electrolyzer of up to 60 MW.

Iberdrola created a business unit dedicated to green hydrogen, and subsequently announced its goal of covering 20% of the national green hydrogen target by 2027: the utility and Fertiberia plan 800 MW of green hydrogen by that year.

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Source: pv magazine