EU opens the door to funding hydrogen corridor between France, Spain, Portugal

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “warmly welcomed” the details of a green hydrogen corridor through Portugal, Spain and France on Friday and opened the door to EU funding for the €2.5 billion ($2.64 billion) project.

“Hydrogen will change the history of Europe,” said von der Leyen at a joint news conference with the leaders of Portugal, Spain and France.

The leaders gathered to share details of new pipelines that would transport renewable hydrogen from Portugal to the Spanish city of Zaragoza and from the port of Barcelona to Marseille.

The Barcelona-Marseille pipeline was originally also going to transport natural gas, but Spain renounced that capacity as a way to get EU financing.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that EU funds could cover half of the cost of the massive infrastructure project.

The pipelines should be operational by 2030 and carry 10% of all the hydrogen consumed within the EU, Sanchez added.

Von der Leyen said the EU aims to produce 10 million tons of green hydrogen by the end of the decade and import another 10 million tons.

She said the EU has already solidified a hydrogen partnership with Egypt and is in talks with Morocco and other southern Mediterranean countries to buy green hydrogen in the coming years.

“With this step forward, we’re adding a new energy source to Europe. This changes the trend for the Iberian Peninsula because we aren’t going to be energy importers; we’ll be producers and exporters to the rest of Europe,” said Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

He explained that Spain and Portugal will be able to take leadership on green hydrogen due to their abundance of solar and wind power capacity.

Von der Leyen agreed, saying: “The Iberian Peninsula is set to become one of Europe’s major energy hubs.”

French President Manuel Macron added that the project is not only good for the environment, but will also help make European industry more competitive and boost energy security.

The use of green hydrogen is said to be critical for decarbonizing sectors that are difficult to electrify like steel and cement production.

Source: Anadolu Agency