Portugal is set to launch the first-of-its-kind auction for rights to sell green hydrogen, slated for injection into the national gas grid.
The move is poised to reshape Europe’s budding green hydrogen market, positioning Portugal as a trailblazer in the fight against carbon emissions and the pursuit of enhanced energy security.
Ana Fontoura, energy secretary at Portugal’s environment ministry, announced the imminent auction for green hydrogen and biomethane injection into the natural gas grid. “The auction for green hydrogen and biomethane will be launched in the coming weeks. We are dealing with state aid issues with the European Commission,” she revealed.
The auction’s innovative approach will see energy giant Galp contract to purchase green hydrogen, blended with natural gas, from various producers. Galp will then redistribute this mixture to meet consumer demand. This novel system aims to stimulate investment in green hydrogen production by assuring suppliers a guaranteed buyer. In essence, it replaces the need for numerous bilateral contracts between producers and consumers.
Portugal’s aspiration is to establish itself as a significant green hydrogen producer and exporter, utilizing electrolysis driven by renewable energy sources. The shift towards green hydrogen not only reduces carbon emissions but also contributes to the nation’s energy self-sufficiency.
This audacious endeavor is not without careful preparation. Portugal’s largest gas distributor, Floene, embarked on months of testing to ensure that its polyethylene pipelines for gas could safely transport hydrogen-gas blends. The tests have proven successful, with the pipelines capable of handling gas blended with up to 5% hydrogen without any leaks.
The move towards a green hydrogen auction represents Portugal’s bold step in the global effort to harness clean energy. It also places Portugal at the forefront of the European green hydrogen revolution, igniting hope for a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape. As the world grapples with the need to reduce carbon emissions, Portugal’s pioneering efforts are undoubtedly a beacon of progress.
Portugal’s visionary approach is now underpinned by crucial discussions with the European Commission regarding state aid, further emphasizing the nation’s commitment to being a frontrunner in the green hydrogen arena.
As the auction unfolds in the coming weeks, Portugal’s journey towards a greener future accelerates, potentially setting the stage for Europe’s green hydrogen revolution.