The operator of the gas system, Enagás, has already outlined what will be the Spanish green hydrogen backbone network in 2030. Europe’s renewable H2 hub.
The company emphasizes that the axes contemplated in its map act as large collectors of hydrogen production distributed throughout the entire national territory. This, together with the development of potential underground storage facilities under study, is what will make it possible to optimize infrastructure needs, both in compression and in the transport capacity of the pipelines themselves. It is also important to highlight that the network proposed by Enagás is subject to what is defined in the Government’s binding planning and prior cost-benefit analyses.
In this sense, Enagás has divided Spain’s green hydrogen backbone into two parts. The first would be made up of the Cornisa Cantabrica, Valle del Ebro and Levante axes, which together would add up to an approximate length of 1,500 kilometres. For this part, 1,650 million euros would be needed. The route would be the following:
– Gijón, Torrelavega, Vizcaya, Álava, La Rioja Zaragoza, Teruel.
– Teruel, Castellón, Puerto Sagunto.
– Puerto Sagunto, Cartagena.
On its side, the second part would group the Vía de la Plata axis and the Puertollano connection, with 1,250 kilometers and around 1,850 million euros of investment. The tour would look like this:
– Gijon, Musel.
– Gijon, Aviles.
– Gijon, Salamanca.
– Salamanca, Merida.
– Merida, Huelva.
– Merida, Vegas Altas Saceruela, Puertollano.
All the axes are projects presented by Enagás to the call for a Project of Common Interest of the European Union (EU) on December 15 of last year, according to the announcement made by the Executive. In addition, there are two possible storage facilities with a joint capacity potential of 575 gigawatt hours (GWh) and an investment of 1,170 million euros. The idea is to create two new saline cavities in Cantabria and the Basque Country. The construction of all these infrastructures is expected to begin between 2025 and 2026.
Connection with France
To this so-called Spanish green hydrogen backbone network, we must add the H2Med project, which includes the 455-kilometre tube that will connect Barcelona with Marseille (BarMar) and the 248-kilometre tube that will connect Celorico da Beira (Portugal) with Zamora (CelZa). , will have an associated investment of 2,500 million euros, the first of 2,135 million and the second of 350 million.
According to data from the operator, used by the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), Spain is expected to have a green hydrogen production potential of between two and three million tons by 2030, with a national demand of only 1.3 million. tons, so the surplus could be exported through all these new interconnections. It is estimated that these exports could reach two million tons per year, which would be equivalent to around 10% of European demand by the end of the decade.
Enagás will start this year the non-binding supply and demand matching mechanisms to optimize the development of the trunk network, once the Government updates the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC).
The synergies between the future connections and the current gas network will allow a 50% reduction in terms and a 30% saving in costs, reusing current gas pipelines by 30%, a percentage that is expected to reach up to 70%. Likewise, the cost of transporting hydrogen is between two and four times lower than the transport of electricity by high voltage lines.
Among the main partners of Enagás in Spain for the development of hydrogen projects are Repsol, Naturgy, Cepsa, Acciona, Engie, Petronor and ArcelorMittal. The absences of Iberdrola and Endesa stand out. The company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán has launched, together with Fertiberia, a comprehensive project that includes the development of 800 MW of green hydrogen with an investment of 1,800 million euros until 2027, while Endesa will develop up to 100 facilities in As Pontes (Galicia). MW of electrolysis power.
In this context, Spain is preparing to be the supplier of cheap green hydrogen to the great European powers. A report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company reveals that Germany could appreciate a reduction of between 15% and 20% in imports if it is done from low-cost production areas, such as the national territory.
Producing green hydrogen on a large scale and at a competitive price is one of the great challenges that this fuel presents and Spain occupies a privileged position thanks to the sun and the wind. The goal is to sell green hydrogen at 1.5 euros per kilogram, compared to the 5 euros it currently costs.
The International Renewable Energy Agency affirms that Spain may become among the top 15 countries in the world in the production of cheap green hydrogen by the year 2050. Specifically, the kilogram amounts to around 0.80 dollars (0.75 euros ). Spain is doing the rest with renewable hydrogen and has made it a country strategy.