Tue.
Nov 24
2020
Spain’s Green Hydrogen Plans Take Off With Iberdrola, Nel Partnership

Spain’s green hydrogen strategy is beginning to take shape as Bilbao-based electric utility company Iberdrola has announced a joint venture with Nel, the world’s top manufacturer of electrolysers.

Iberdrola aims to broaden collaboration with Nel after selecting the Oslo, Norway-based manufacturer of equipment for hydrogen production as a supplier for its Fertiberia project.

Iberdrola and Nel signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to deploy more than 200 megawatts in electrolysers by 2023, according to a statement by Nel.

Iberdrola and Fertiberia are in the process of a 150-million euro investment to develop hydrogen for the production of green ammonia for fertilizers in Puertollano, Spain. The fertilizer project will start production next year and be Europe’s largest green hydrogen plant for industrial use. Iberdrola plans to install a 100 MW photovoltaic solar plant to generate the renewable electricity needed to make the hydrogen.

Iberdrola selected Nel earlier this month to deliver a 20-megawatt PEM electrolyser unit for that project. That electrolyser facility will use solar power to separate hydrogen from other elements into a form that can be used for manufacturing fertilizers. As a result, Fertiberia’s plant will be able to shave 10% off its use of natural gas, which is generally used in creating hydrogen.

Europe Union leadership has committed to developing zero-emission energy sources, such as wind and solar, to replace fossil fuels, as part of an ambitious strategy to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Hydrogen can be separated from water into a clean-burning fuel, or an element, for industrial use.

Nel share rose over 6% yesterday with the announcement of its cooperation with Iberdrola. 

Hydrogen production in Spain is estimated at 0.5 million tonnes a year. It is currently used as a raw material in the refining, chemical and fertilizer industries. Most of the hydrogen originates from fossil fuels and generates emissions of 5 million tonnes per year. Annual global hydrogen production is responsible for more than 2 % of emissions generated in the world, a figure similar to those emitted by a country the size of Germany, according to Iberdrola.

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Stephen Bierman

By Stephen Bierman

Stephen Bierman is an energy, markets journalist and the editor of New Economy Observer.

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