Antonio Brufau, the president of Spanish oil giant Repsol, declared on Thursday the company’s intention to shift planned hydrogen investments worth €1.5 billion away from Spain to Portugal and France.
The motive behind this unexpected move, according to Brufau, is the tax landscape in Spain compared to the more favorable conditions in neighboring countries.
Repsol’s ambitious plan to invest heavily in hydrogen, a key player in the global shift towards sustainable energy, now faces a potential setback due to tax-related considerations. The company had earmarked substantial funds for hydrogen initiatives within Spain, aiming to contribute to the country’s energy transition and foster a green economy.
However, the introduction of an extraordinary and temporary tax by the Spanish government has prompted Brufau to reconsider. The tax, designed to target what the government perceives as extraordinary profits in the energy sector, poses a challenge for companies like Repsol. The president emphasized the need for a stable and attractive fiscal framework, asserting that investments hinge on competitiveness, which includes a favorable tax environment.
Repsol’s hydrogen investments were expected to encompass cutting-edge technology and infrastructure for the production, storage, and utilization of hydrogen. Green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources, holds significant promise in reducing carbon emissions and advancing Spain’s commitment to clean energy solutions.
The potential impact of Repsol’s hydrogen projects extends beyond environmental benefits. The initiatives could contribute to job creation, technological advancements, and position Spain as a leader in the emerging hydrogen economy. However, the current tax scenario threatens to impede these goals.
The Spanish government’s stance on the extraordinary tax aligns with its commitment to finance measures addressing the economic impact of the conflict in Ukraine and mitigating inflation effects. The new coalition government formed in August, comprising the socialist party (PSOE) and left-wing forces platform Somar, outlined intentions to implement fair tax reforms, including contributions from large energy companies.