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Investment opportunities related to hydrogen in Castilla-La Mancha

By 21 September, 2023 No Comments

Green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy sources, has become a key resource in the transition to a more sustainable and carbon-free future. Castilla-La Mancha, located in the heart of Spain, is leading the way in this global trend and presents a number of hydrogen-related investment opportunities that can boost the region’s economic and energy development.

The importance of green hydrogen

Green hydrogen is obtained through the electrolysis of water, using renewable electrical energy such as solar or wind powered. It is a versatile energy carrier that can be easily stored and transported, and when produced using renewable energy sources, it does not emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

In a global context of the fight against climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions, green hydrogen has become an essential component of the decarbonisation strategies of many countries and regions. Castilla-La Mancha, with its abundant natural resources, is well positioned to play a key role in the production and distribution of green hydrogen in Spain and Europe.

Favourable conditions in Castilla-La Mancha

Castilla-La Mancha presents a series of conditions that make it an attractive place to invest in green hydrogen projects:

  1. Abundant renewable resources: The region has a large number of hours of sunshine per year and areas with constant winds, which makes it an ideal place for the generation of renewable energy needed for the production of green hydrogen.
  2. Transport connections: Its strategic location in the centre of Spain and proximity to major road and rail transport routes facilitates the distribution of hydrogen at national and European level.
  3. Gas infrastructure: Castilla-La Mancha already has a developed gas infrastructure, which can facilitate the supply of green hydrogen into the existing natural gas network.
  4. Regional collaboration: The region is committed to the energy transition and is working closely with other regional and national actors to promote the production and use of green hydrogen. Castilla-La Mancha hosts the National Hydrogen Centre, which has 13 laboratories and 5 auxiliary facilities making it an international reference centre. It also participates in the regional cluster formed by numerous companies around this energy vector. Last April, the region of Castilla La-Mancha joined the European Green Hydrogen Network, which will give it greater access to European funds to facilitate the arrival of new projects.
Image of the National Hydrogen Centre, located in Puertollano

Investment opportunities

Hydrogen-related investment opportunities in Castilla-La Mancha are diverse:

  1. Renewable energy generation: investing in the construction and operation of solar and wind farms to power electrolysis and green hydrogen production.
  2. Green hydrogen production: Establish water electrolysis plants powered by renewable energy to produce green hydrogen.
  3. Storage and distribution: Invest in hydrogen storage and transport infrastructure to supply sectors such as industry, transport and power generation.
  4. Research and development: Support research and development projects to improve the efficiency of green hydrogen production and develop advanced applications.
  5. Training and skills development: Invest in training and skills development programmes related to green hydrogen to create a highly skilled workforce in the region.

Success stories

  •  Iberdrola – Fertiberia

Iberdrola has commissioned the largest green hydrogen plant for industrial use in Europe. The plant, located in Puertollano, Ciudad Real, consists of a 100 MW solar photovoltaic plant, a lithium-ion battery system with a storage capacity of 20 MWh and one of the largest hydrogen production systems for electrolysis in the world (20 MW). All from 100% renewable sources. The green hydrogen produced there will be used in Fertiberia’s ammonia factory in the same location. With an investment of 150 million euros, the initiative will create up to 1,000 jobs and avoid emissions of 48,000 tCO2/year.

Image of the hydrogen plant owned by Iberdrola, located in Puertollano
  • Cummins

The well-known engine manufacturer Cummins has chosen the town of Guadalajara for its new factory, with more than 20,000 square metres, it will develop the assembly and testing activities of the electrolysers and will have the capacity to produce 500 MW of electrolysers per year with the aim of later reaching a production capacity of 1 GW per year. This factory will employ around 350 highly skilled workers.

Image of the ceremony setting the beginning of construction of the
Cummins electrolyser factory in Guadalajara
  • Hydnum Steel

The steel manufacturer Hydnum Steel has chosen the town of Puertollano in Ciudad Real for its new green steel production plant, which will progressively incorporate green hydrogen into the production process with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions. The plant will cover an area of 1.3 million square metres in La Nava, with an initial investment of 600 million euros, which will exceed 1,000 million in the complete project, and will lead to the creation of 400 jobs.

  • pHYnix

pHYnix, Europe’s first independent green hydrogen producer, has started up two projects totalling 80MW, both in the same town of Alcázar de San Juan, Ciudad Real. The two projects combined will produce around 11,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. According to estimates, the construction and start-up of both plants will mean a boost in employment generation for the region of Alcázar, estimated at 500 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

  • FM Logistics

The hydrogen generator installed in the logistics warehouse of the company FM Logistics in Illescas, Toledo, was the first hydrogen logistics warehouse. The hydrogen generator dispenses hydrogen to the company’s own forklift trucks and delivery vans.

The hydrogen plant has three hydrogen storage tanks. Each tank stores up to 11 kg of hydrogen at a nominal pressure of 500 bar.

The name of this project is H2Login, and it has received financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).

In summary, Castilla-La Mancha offers an enabling environment for green hydrogen investments due to its abundant renewable resources and its commitment to energy transition. Investment opportunities in green hydrogen generation, production, storage and distribution can play an important role in the region’s economic and energy transformation, while contributing to the fight against climate change at a global level.