Snam, Hera, Engie, and Società Gasdotti Italia (SGI)—have unveiled plans for two separate green hydrogen projects in Italy. The initiatives, supported by the European Union’s post-pandemic recovery fund, underscore a collective commitment to providing sustainable fuels and leveraging green hydrogen’s potential in the country.
Snam, the Italian gas grid operator, and utility company Hera have joined forces to develop a green hydrogen production site in the vicinity of Modena, a northern Italian city. This 20 million euro ($21.6 million) venture aims to establish a photovoltaic plant that will supply renewable energy to an electrolyzer, facilitating the production of hydrogen through water electrolysis. The anticipated capacity of the facility is set to reach 400 tonnes per year of green fuel.
According to Orazio Iacono, Chief Executive of Hera, while hydrogen currently incurs a considerable cost, potential government incentives could reduce the price to approximately 5 euros per kilogram. With existing incentives on capital expenditures, this reduced cost could position green hydrogen as a competitive option for customers. The primary beneficiaries of the green fuel from this project are expected to be local public transport entities, with potential extensions to energy-intensive industries in the Modena region, such as tile manufacturers and automotive groups.
As part of its broader decarbonization strategy outlined in the business plan up to 2026, Snam has allocated 1 billion euros for investments in sustainable practices. This includes ambitious plans for a hydrogen pipeline, known as the SoutH2 Corridor, designed to transport hydrogen from North Africa to northern Europe.
Piero Ercoli, Executive Director of Snam’s Decarbonization Unit, revealed the group’s intention to initiate a market test for cross-border hydrogen infrastructure in the coming year.
In a parallel effort, the Italian unit of France’s Engie, in collaboration with gas distributor SGI and local industry advocate Consorzio Industriale Lazio, is set to embark on a green hydrogen project near Rome. This initiative aligns with the broader objective of contributing to Italy’s transition towards sustainable and low-carbon energy solutions.
Details about the scale, capacity, and specific applications of the green hydrogen produced near Rome are yet to be disclosed. However, the project’s inclusion of Engie, a global player in the renewable energy sector, signals a significant stride towards promoting clean energy practices in the region.