The European Commission has marked a significant stride towards a sustainable energy future by designating crucial projects, including a hydrogen initiative in Sines and a maritime hydrogen pipeline, as projects of common interest.

This selection positions them to receive financial support from the European Union (EU), aligning with the ambitious goals set forth in the European Green Deal.

Among the highlighted projects is the H2Sines.RDAM electrolyser, dispelling concerns about its association with ongoing investigations in Portugal. An EU official clarified that despite similar names, this project differs from the one currently under scrutiny. H2Sines.RDAM constitutes a maritime supply chain facilitating the transport of renewable liquid hydrogen from Sines to Rotterdam, reinforcing the EU’s commitment to green hydrogen production.

Brussels has also recognized the significance of hydrogen interconnections in Western Europe by endorsing the “Portugal – Spain – France – Germany corridor.” This corridor encompasses internal hydrogen infrastructures in Portugal, interconnections between Portugal and Spain, internal infrastructure in Spain, the “Spain – France hydrogen interconnection (BarMar),” and infrastructures in France connected to Germany. The move underscores the importance of collaborative efforts to create a robust hydrogen network across the continent.

In October 2022, Portugal, France, and Spain joined forces to expedite energy interconnections on the Iberian Peninsula. Opting for a “Green Energy Corridor” by sea, known as BarMar, instead of a land route through the Pyrenees, these nations envisioned a future where a maritime pipeline would transport both fossil fuel and ‘green’ hydrogen. The recent endorsement by the EU solidifies the project’s status as a common interest initiative.

Prime Minister António Costa expressed hopes of securing European funds through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to finance these projects. The projects’ classification as common interest initiatives streamlines licensing and regulatory procedures, positioning them for EU financial support. The first call for proposals under the CEF is expected in the first half of the coming year, with results anticipated by the end of 2024.

The EU’s recognition of these projects as common interests underscores their vital role in advancing the European internal energy market and achieving overarching energy and climate objectives. As these initiatives move forward, they serve as beacons of progress towards a sustainable and interconnected energy landscape for the future.

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