As the demand for sustainable and carbon-free energy sources continues to grow, Aragón, a region in Spain, is aiming to become the first European producer of natural hydrogen.
With large reserves of this valuable gas found in the subsoil of Huesca, Aragón sees an opportunity to revolutionize the energy sector on a European scale. The ambitious project, promoted by British investors through the company Helios Aragón Pte. Limited, requires a legal change in Spanish legislation to materialize.
Natural hydrogen, also known as golden hydrogen, has never been extracted in Europe or Spain due to its limited use until recently. Despite its distinct chemical composition, it is classified as a hydrocarbon under Spanish law. However, Aragón authorities, along with Helios Aragón, have proposed modifying mining regulations to include natural hydrogen, similar to what France has already done.
To move forward with the project, Helios Aragón has requested environmental authorization to conduct an exploratory investigation in Monzón. The exploration well, reaching a depth of approximately 3,850 meters, will utilize drilling mud rather than hydraulic fracturing. The company plans to produce 55,000 tons of highly competitive hydrogen per year starting in 2028.
The initiative holds great potential for regional development, aiming to generate 300 highly qualified direct jobs and 1,500 indirect jobs. Aragón’s Vice President and Minister of Industry, Arturo Aliaga, emphasized that the region cannot miss the opportunity to become the first European hub for hydrogen. Aragón has declared the project of regional interest, actively engaging with the Ministry of Ecological Transition and seeking to change mining legislation.
The successful implementation of Aragón’s natural hydrogen project could have a transformative impact on the energy landscape, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and driving the transition to cleaner energy sources. Moreover, it could establish Aragón as a key player in Europe’s hydrogen economy, attracting further investments and technological advancements.
However, challenges remain. The legal change required for the project’s realization needs to be addressed promptly. Additionally, ensuring the safety and long-term viability of natural hydrogen extraction and storage is crucial. Collaboration with the European Commission and other stakeholders is necessary to create a conducive regulatory framework and establish Aragón as a pioneering region in the field of natural hydrogen.
The energy sector is on the brink of a historic transformation, and Aragón’s pursuit of natural hydrogen could play a pivotal role in shaping Europe’s sustainable energy future. By harnessing its abundant natural resources and fostering innovation, Aragón aims to lead the way towards a greener and more resilient energy system.