Spain is making significant strides in green hydrogen adoption, positioning itself as a leader in Europe, trailing only behind Germany. The revelation emerged during the 6th edition of Future Utility, a gathering of over 150 energy sector professionals. Simultaneously, the H2Green Forum Spain took place, organized by IKN, marking the nation’s first congress focusing on green hydrogen.
The hydrogen sector, dominantly led by China, foresees substantial growth in Spain’s green hydrogen projects in the coming years. As discussed in the congress, this surge aligns with the country’s commitment to achieving noticeable improvements in green hydrogen initiatives.
At the heart of the discussion were the challenges, innovations, and technological solutions within the sector. Representatives from major utility and energy companies, including Total Energies, Acciona, Repsol, and Naturgy, discussed the evolving landscape. One standout projection is the anticipation of an 80% reduction in the price of electrolyzers—the technology enabling hydrogen production—within the next 25 years.
Europe, particularly in 2022, has showcased leadership in manufacturing proton exchange membrane electrolyzers, installing 80 megawatts, more than double the capacity of 2021. Additionally, Spain has achieved a commendable 48% share of renewable energies in its electricity sector.
Regulatory advancements in 2023 have been viewed positively by producers and consumers alike. Key regulatory needs include non-discriminatory third-party access to distribution networks and the necessity for regulatory flexibility to accelerate projects.
Projects related to green hydrogen underscore the responsible use of water. Notably, technology plays a crucial role in obtaining high-quality water sustainably. Large-scale projects explore non-conventional water sources, such as desalination of saline water or using regenerated water for energy production, mitigating competition with water intended for consumption.
Mónica Aguado from the National Center for Renewable Energy emphasized the need for Spanish companies to develop their electrolyzer technology. By 2050, renewable hydrogen could significantly contribute to reducing annual CO2 emissions by seven gigatonnes.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) took center stage as leading utility companies presented advances in optimizing processes and enhancing personalization and product improvement. AI is becoming a cornerstone in the utility sector, driving digitalization, predictive maintenance, and improved customer services.
Digitization and data have become pivotal in the utility sector, enabling better customer understanding, predictive maintenance, and enhanced service quality. The integration of technology across electricity, gas, and water companies has revolutionized operations, leading to more efficient and personalized services for consumers.