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Spain asks Brussels for European funds to finance green hydrogen projects

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The Spanish Government sent a letter to the European Commission in which it demands that its imminent plan to accelerate the energy disconnection from Russia prioritize projects based on sustainable hydrogen that are developed in Spain and financed with EU funds.

The letter, dated May 6 and signed by the Vice-President for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, was sent to the Vice-President of the Community Executive for the Green Pact, Frans Timmermans, and the Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, just a week before Brussels presents its RePower EU strategy.

In the text, advanced by El País and accessed by EFE, Ribera stresses that the analysis being made by the Commission on the projects needed to reduce in the short term the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas “should not be isolated from the long-term path towards climate neutrality”.

Prioritizing transport from Spain

“This means prioritizing the transport and trade of renewable hydrogen from where it is produced in a competitive way, such as in southern Europe (Spain), to the rest of the EU, while optimizing existing infrastructures and capacities, such as regasification plants,” he adds.

Thus, the selection of projects must be “consistent” with the objective of reducing energy dependence and also be aligned with the Green Pact and international commitments to combat climate change.

“In all these cases, the EU should contribute sufficient funds for these projects, in particular under the current circumstances,” the letter adds.

Secondly, Spain tells Brussels that the RePower EU plan “should reinforce the ongoing development of renewable energy sources” and include a “relevant” role for energy storage.

Accelerating the potential of renewables

“Accelerating the full potential of renewables in the EU is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy dependence and creates employment in relevant economic sectors, stimulating the development of new technologies and business models,” he emphasizes.

In this line, Spain advocates “further promoting” research, development and innovation in the field of solar panels, also with respect to new materials, and strengthening the value chain at European level.

It also asks the EU executive for a “specific framework” for energy storage projects, whose technologies are “clear enablers” on the path towards a decarbonized economy.

The last point of the letter suggests to the European Commission that the next meeting of energy officials of the EU-27 should serve to reflect on potential changes in the design of the European electricity market, as a result of the report recently prepared by ACER.

In the opinion of the Spanish Government, this report “confirms that the current design (of the EU electricity system) is not adequate for the future”, but neither does it provide “any ideas to improve the correct response to its limitations”.

The letter also criticizes that the ACER document does not include any mention of the “need” to improve electricity interconnections although it “recognizes that the lower the interconnection, the lower the market liquidity”.

Nedim Husomanovic

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