“Portugal has an enormous potential to produce green hydrogen and to boost an industry with a strong exportation capacity” said today the deputy minister for Energy, João Galamba, in Portugal Mobi Summit’s panel dedicated to Green Hydrogen and the European Union’s Green Deal.
Estimates are so positive that João Galamba foresees that, by 2030, in just ten years, “5% of the total national consumption of energy will be already coming from green hydrogen, the same happening in the areas of heavy transportation as well as passenger and goods transportation”.
Because, admitted Galamba, “Portugal wants to go even further” than the actual European strategy for hydrogen and to include an industrial technological dimension, with place for projects of all sizes and sectors, noting that the major project is the one in Sines.
“It makes all sense to position Portugal in order to benefit from its competitive advantages in renewable energies” in comparison with northern European countries, stated.
In that matter, Galamba was seconded by the General Secretary of Hydrogene Europe, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, that gave many compliments to Galamba: “who managed to transform a country that was not on the radar for this type of technology, to potentially become one of the leaders of the sector”, affirmed.
Clearly, a large scale financing for these projects is the only way to make an utopia come true, and in that matter, the government is counting with a major EU package fund of about 7 to 8 thousand million euros for its National Strategy for Green Hydrogen, reminded João Galamba.
In the pole position for this crusade in the new energetic era is EDP, that already announced a pilot project in partnership with the production of green hydrogen in Sines, the H2 Sines, and the closing of the emblematic carbon plant. “We are in this project because it makes sense, it’s the technology of the future, with a great growing capacity and we must hop on this train” justified the executive board member João Marques da Cruz. Also because, even if it will take a long time, “it’s profitable and EDP only enters profitable businesses” added.
In order for green hydrogen to become competitive in a carbon dominated market, it’s necessary to change the price difference, from 30 to 60, therefore it’s necessary to have indirect subsidies for hydrogen, alerted João Marques da Cruz. Be that as it may, he believes that in the next year, EDP’s pilot project will be producing 10 to 15 MW, 100MW in 2025 and in 2027 “we want to reach 1GW by 2030”
In that same page, Bart Biebuyck, from FCH EU, reminded us that “the first to invest will always be better positioned to gather the profits”. And added that “the potential for hydrogen in Portugal is huge and it could create 18 thousand new jobs”.
Bart Biebuyck stated that “companies that invest now will have quite the return in the next five to ten years” since this is a medium to long term business, but very stable.
He also referred that up until now, there were 263 projects funded in the area of hydrogen summing up to 2 thousand million euros in investment, divided in equal parts between public and private sector. “And if ten years ago it was already a challenge to produce 100KW, last year we managed to reach 160MW, that means to multiply by one thousand”.
Also optimistic about Portugal’s potential in this market, the responsible for FCH said that, in the last auction, the data that the country presented, indicates that it has the conditions to produce green hydrogen at the same price as fossil hydrogen, which is a “notable achievement”, pointed out.