Masdar and VERBUND Green Hydrogen GmbH have solidified their commitment to advancing green hydrogen production by signing a deal to explore the development of a substantial green hydrogen plant in central Spain. This ambitious project aims to tackle the challenge of decarbonizing Europe’s hard-to-abate sectors and signifies a pivotal step in the continent’s renewable energy transformation.
Leveraging the renewable resources of Spain’s Castilla-La Mancha region, the proposed plant is set to be one of Europe’s largest green hydrogen production facilities. Its primary objective is to generate green hydrogen to fulfill industrial demand in Spain and central Europe. The prospective impact of this initiative is substantial, with estimates suggesting the potential displacement of up to 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually—equivalent to removing around 700,000 cars from the roads each year.
The agreement, signed by Mohammad Abdelqader El Ramahi, Chief Green Hydrogen Officer of Masdar, and Hamead Ahrary, Managing Director of VERBUND Green Hydrogen, underscores the strategic collaboration initiated during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2023. The joint effort aims to explore green hydrogen opportunities, specifically to cater to European demand.
Green hydrogen, derived from renewable sources through electrolysis, will be the focus of production at the explored plant. Harnessing renewable energy from solar power plants, potentially including Masdar’s planned gigawatt-scale solar plant in Castilla-La Mancha, and onshore wind farms, the project aims to drive job creation and boost the green industry in the region.
Mohammad Abdelqader El Ramahi emphasized the significance of this milestone collaboration in spearheading Europe’s decarbonization efforts. The project not only aims to produce green hydrogen but also aims to create employment opportunities while tapping into the abundant solar and wind potential of the region.
The project’s growth potential aligns with Europe’s increasing demand for green hydrogen, with Spain alone consuming approximately 500,000 tonnes of traditional ‘gray’ hydrogen annually—a segment that could gradually shift to green hydrogen. By 2035, Austria is anticipated to require around 600,000 tonnes per year of clean hydrogen, showcasing the market’s expected growth trajectory.
Michael Strugl, CEO of VERBUND, highlighted the significance of partnerships in driving the hydrogen economy, emphasizing the importance of technology and innovation in meeting decarbonization goals.
Hamead Ahrary, Managing Director of VERBUND Green Hydrogen, stressed the role of the Spanish market in both local hydrogen production and potential import to central Europe, underscoring the study’s expected contribution to strengthening VERBUND’s presence in the Spanish market.
The green hydrogen produced from this initiative is expected to play a crucial role in decarbonizing Europe’s hard-to-abate sectors, including steel production, fertilizers, chemicals, heavy transportation, and aviation. With most European Union nations aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, green hydrogen stands out as a potent solution in achieving these ambitious climate targets.