The Director General of Energy and Geology, João Bernardo, said in Parliament that there are already “30 hydrogen producers registered” with the Directorate General of Energy and Geology (DGEG), whose projects are still being analyzed.
In a parliamentary hearing on the investment plans of REN – National Energy Networks in transport networks of electricity and natural gas, João Bernardo said that some of the producers already registered are already testing the incorporation of small percentages of green hydrogen in the natural gas network, pointing to pilot projects in Seixal and Evora.
These smaller projects will use the distribution networks, whose concessionaires estimate overall that in the next five years will need to invest nearly 24 million euros to adapt the networks to hydrogen and other renewable gases.
Tuesday’s hearing in Parliament focused, however, on the investment plans for the gas and electricity transport networks (operated by REN) and not the distribution networks.
The president of the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE), Pedro Verdelho, said before the MPs that the regulator’s attitude in its opinions to new investments in natural gas is of “prudence”, but noted that “the new investments to be made must be prepared to receive decarbonized gas”, be it hydrogen or other renewable gases.
In Parliament, the director general of Energy and Geology did not go into detail about the hydrogen producers already registered with the DGEG, but in recent months there has been a multiplication of investment intentions in this area, especially taking advantage of the support that the state has already promised to leverage green hydrogen projects and other renewable gases.
The first notice for this purpose, launched last year and closed this year, made available 62 million euros of investment support, having attracted dozens of applications.
In parallel, the Government intends to launch an auction in the area of hydrogen, to support the production and consumption prices of this resource, which may be a relevant solution in the decarbonization of industry.
And companies in the energy sector and in the hydrogen industry are also paying attention to the support of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) under the agendas for innovation, which will distribute additional funds to various consortia that bring together companies and academic institutions with innovative projects that can be structuring for the national economy. Several of these projects include large-scale hydrogen units.