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Europe Is Trying to Create a Green Hydrogen Corridor

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There are currently proposals to build a significant hydrogen corridor connecting Southern and Northern Europe, following a year of numerous announcements of green hydrogen projects around Europe. This new connection might be the first of many, serving as a prototype to connect different parts of the world and enable the sharing of renewable energy. The Port of Rotterdam and the Spanish energy company Cepsa have joined together to create “the first green hydrogen corridor between southern and northern Europe.” As the oil and gas company transitions into the field of renewables, Cepsa stated last week that it will be creating a green hydrogen supply chain between two of Europe’s major ports, the Port of Algeciras in southern Spain and the Dutch Port of Rotterdam.

According to the firm, Cepsa will export hydrogen created at its San Roque Energy Park close to the Bay of Algeciras using hydrogen carriers like ammonia or methanol. The management of 13% of Europe’s energy requirements makes the Port of Rotterdam the most significant energy port in the area. While the Port of Algeciras acts as a vital commercial bridge connecting Europe and Asia. The construction of the facilities and infrastructure required to facilitate the importation of green hydrogen and its pipeline delivery to other northern European nations is being funded by the Dutch government, the Port Authority, and a number of private businesses. The new link will help Rotterdam reach its goal of providing 4.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen to Northwest Europe by the end of the decade.

The new energy transportation route is a response to RePower EU, the EU’s strategy for renewable energy. Another hydrogen link to Cepsa’s La Rábida Energy Park in Huelva will be used to support the hydrogen corridor, which is scheduled to go into service in 2027. The chance to construct the first green hydrogen corridor in Spain’s top energy port, Algeciras, according to Cepsa CEO Maarten Wetselaar, “demonstrates the special role that Spain, and particularly Andalusia, will play in the energy revolution in Europe.” Spain is in a prime position to take the lead globally in the production and export of green hydrogen due to its advantageous geographic location, plentiful renewable energy production, robust energy infrastructure, and important ports like Algeciras and Huelva. Cepsa, Andalusia’s largest energy company, plans to take the lead in carrying out this ambition.

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The establishment of this trade route between Algeciras and Rotterdam, according to Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, “is a big contribution to Europe’s objective to cut CO2-emissions as well as strengthen Europe’s energy independence and stimulate our economy.” As a result, “we are opening up various trade routes for green hydrogen, working with exporting countries and private firms all over the world,” he continued, northwest Europe utilized “much more energy than it can produce in a sustainable way.”

The green hydrogen market in Europe has been expanding significantly in recent years, especially after the COP26 climate meeting last year. The EU created the “Green Deal” in 2020, which outlines a three-step plan for the growth of the region’s green hydrogen industry. This plan calls for the implementation of green hydrogen production and consumption across several industries by 2024, the creation of interconnected “hydrogen valleys” by 2030, and the development of a substantial European hydrogen infrastructure.

Repsol has invested $4.4 billion in the green hydrogen industry in Spain, which is now driving European objectives in this area. The energy firm is in charge of a group of 33 businesses and organizations that are creating Spain’s green hydrogen sector. With a final government goal of 4 GW, the southern European nation anticipates establishing a green hydrogen capacity of 500 MW by 2025 and 2 GW by 2030. The EU’s mandate for more extensive data reporting on hydrogen from all of its members, which went into effect in February, is anticipated to aid in the growth of a unified hydrogen economy in Europe.

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By 2030, the European Commission (EC) wants to install 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers throughout the EU. As Europe continues to struggle with a lack of oil and gas and with rising energy costs, the development of a large-scale hydrogen industry is crucial. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EC, announced the creation of a European Hydrogen Bank last month in an effort to inject $2.91 billion in capital into the hydrogen sector in Europe.

As businesses investigate the possibilities for further renewable energy sharing and connectivity via pipelines and significant undersea cables, the new hydrogen corridor announcement is expected to be the first of many. Governments and energy companies will be looking to repurpose existing infrastructure, like natural gas pipelines, to carry green hydrogen as the world switches from fossil fuels to renewable alternatives. Five green hydrogen corridors have been suggested for Europe by the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative, which is made up of 31 energy infrastructure providers. Various other countries throughout the world, including South Africa, Korea, and others, are also evaluating further green hydrogen corridor proposals.

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