Spanish utility Iberdrola will invest €3 billion (US$3.2 billion) in green hydrogen, the company’s chairman, Ignacio Galán, has announced as he called for a stable European framework to boost investment in the technology.
The move forms part of Iberdrola’s efforts to accelerate the European Green Deal, which will see the European Union (EU) aim to achieve at least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week, Galán said green hydrogen is set to bring enormous industrial opportunities to energy uses that are difficult to electrify.
He said the energy transition is inevitable but “not yet fast enough. We need to accelerate the change, which requires strong political will.” Iberdrola didn’t specify the timeframe for its €3 billion investment.
Galán’s comments come after Iberdrola earlier this month inaugurated its Puertollano plant in central Spain, which combines 100MW of solar PV, a 20MWh lithium-ion battery system and a 20MW electrolytic hydrogen production system.
Involving an investment of €150 million, the plant will be able to produce up to 3,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year, which will be used at a local ammonia plant.
Galán said earlier this week that coordinated EU action is essential to achieve green hydrogen production targets.
The European Commission’s REPowerEU strategy, published last week, proposes to increase the EU’s 2030 target to get 45% of all its energy from renewables, up from the previous 40% ambition.
The plan outlines a goal for the EU of having 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen production and 10 million tonnes of imports by 2030, to replace natural gas, coal and oil in hard-to-decarbonise industries and transport sectors.
Iberdrola is one of seven founding members of the Green Hydrogen Catapult, a coalition of companies that is targeting the development of 45GW of renewables-based hydrogen production by 2026, up from an initial goal of 25GW.
Iberdrola subsidiary ScottishPower unveiled plans earlier this month for a series of green hydrogen projects in Scotland, the first of which is expected to be operational by 2024 and deliver up to 20 tonnes of green hydrogen per day.