- Nearly a hundred organisations from all over Europe call for a stop to this project, deeming it is unnecessary and will worsen the energy crisis.
- The Spanish network Gas No Es Solución, of which IIDMA is part of, explains that renewable hydrogen has a key role in the energy transition, but it must be better defined before spending billions in unnecessary infrastructures.
- The list of Projects of Community Interest (PCI), released on Tuesday by the European Commission, also contains two projects for the transport of fossil gas, contravening climate science.
The European Commission published this Tuesday, 28 November, the first list of Projects of Common and Mutual Interest (PCI/PMI) in the framework of the revised Trans-European Networks for Energy Regulation (TEN-E Regulation). The list contains 166 projects, 48 of which are for hydrogen transport or storage – without being restricted to green hydrogen. Seventeen of them foresee the installation of electrolyzes for renewable hydrogen production. Two projects are linked to the transport of fossil gas and 14 to carbon capture and storage. Finally, 85 of them are electricity interconnections, energy storage and smart grid projects, including the questioned submarine cable in the Bay of Vizcaya, Gatica.
The list, which will be voted upon by the Council and the European Parliament for approval, includes seventeen projects in Spain, which will be prioritized and eligible for EU funding of up to 50% of their cost.
The list has sparked widespread European criticism of several projects, including H2Med, a controversial infrastructure planned to transport two million tons of hydrogen by 2030 from the Iberian Peninsula through France to Germany, and the EastMed and Melita pipelines. The first one aiming to transport gas from the eastern Mediterranean (Israel and Cyprus) to the European gas grid via Greece; and the latter, foreseen to join Malta to this grid via Italy.
Almost a hundred environmental and civil society organisations from Europe, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria and Malta, policymakers from the European, Spanish and Catalan Parliaments and some political parties, have come together to express their concern about H2Med, an infrastructure that aspires to be the largest green hydrogen corridor between the Iberian Peninsula and central Europe, as well as other infrastructures for hydrogen transport that are considered unnecessary and oversized.
“It is clear that renewable hydrogen has a role to play in the energy transition, but it is also clear that this role must be limited before spending billions of euros of public funds on unnecessary infrastructures”, says the Spanish network ‘Gas No es Solución’ , which has led this initiative. The network considers that the use of green hydrogen should be prioritized in hard-to-abate sectors (such as iron and steel) or the ones impossible to electricity, such as maritime transport or aviation. However, first, its demand must be reduced and local consumption is a must.
The network also points out that “hydrogen is not the magic solution for all needs. Green hydrogen is still at a very early stage of development. It is an immature technology in terms of large-scale production, transport and storage. For it to make a real and significant contribution to the EU climate targets, major breakthroughs in terms of technology and efficiency are needed”.
“We oppose this project, as the promoters have not carried out a detailed prior study on the prospects for future production and demand for green hydrogen. We cannot make the same mistakes as with the development of the gas network, which is totally oversized for the needs we have as a society and has ended up being paid for by all citizens for the benefit of a few companies”, they add.
Likewise, regarding the two fossil gas transport projects included in the list, the ‘Gas no es Solución’ network expresses that: “by including these projects, the European Union reveals its hypocrisy at both the environmental and political levels, and seems to forget that fossil gas, and fossil fuels in general, are linked to the systematic violation of human rights”. In particular, the EastMed pipeline would be fed with gas coming from the Cyprus fields, Israel’s Leviathan field and possibly the Marine fields off the coast of Gaza.
List of PCI projects in Spain:
Electrical interconnections and energy storage:
- Portugal – Spain interconnection between Beariz – Fontefria (ES), Fontefria (ES) – Ponte de Lima (PT) and Ponte de Lima – Vila Nova de Famalicão (PT), including substations at Beariz (ES), Fontefria (ES) and Ponte de Lima (PT).
- Interconnection between Gatica (ES) and Cubnezais (FR)
- Interconnection between Navarra (ES) and Landes (FR)
- Interconnection between Aragon (ES) and Marsillon (FR)
- Purifying-Pumped Hydroelectric Energy Storage NAVALEO (ES)
- Reversible Hydraulic Pumped Energy Storage LOS GUAJARES (ES)
- Reversible Hydraulic Pumped Energy Storage AGUAYO II Energy Storage (ES)
Hydrogen Corridor Portugal – Spain – France – Germany:
- Hydrogen interconnector Portugal – Spain
- Internal hydrogen infrastructure in Spain
- Hydrogen interconnector Spain – France (BarMar)
- H2 storage North – 1
- H2 storage North – 2
- Tarragona hydrogen network electrolyser
- Bilbao large scale electrolyser
- Cartagena large scale electrolyser
- Valle andaluz del hidrógeno verde electrolyser
- Asturias H2 valley electrolyser