Spain: Endesa Planning the Development of 23 Green Hydrogen Projects with Investment of Over EUR2.9 Billion

By February 1, 2021 7   min read  (1203 words)

February 1, 2021 |

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Endesa has submitted to the Ministry of Ecological Transition a letter of interest to develop in Spain, both in the Peninsula and in extrapeninsular areas, up to 23 projects related to green hydrogen.

The volume of investment associated with all of them, including the investment destined to the renewable plants that will feed the operation of the electrolyzers, is approximately 2,900 million euros.

  • Endesa has presented to the Ministry of Ecological Transition its interest in developing up to 23 renewable hydrogen projects in Spain in the different phases of the value chain of this fuel. The associated investment amounts to more than 2,900 million euros to start up 340MW of power in electrolyzers, fed with 2,000 MW of renewable energy.
  • The peninsular electrolysis projects (As Pontes, Huelva, Teruel, Almería, Tarragona, Valle del Ebro, Compostilla and Seseña) contemplate an aggregate investment of 2,000 million for the construction of 8 electrolysers with a capacity of 315 MW. 620 jobs will be generated during its construction and 320 jobs in the subsequent operation and maintenance phase during the next 20 years. To this will be added the employment related to the start-up of the renewable generation that will feed the electrolyzers.
  • In the case of non- peninsular projects , which absorb another 900 million of investment, options are proposed that range from the production of green hydrogen in generation plants (Barranco de Tirajana, Granadilla and Alcudia, with electrolysers that will add 25MW), the step of operating plants to their operation with bi-fuel, and the replacement of power from other operating plants by hydrogen / gas. 

The projects include different actions throughout the green hydrogen value chain : from its production to its consumption.

“Endesa wants to show its clear commitment to green hydrogen as a key in the energy transition process and the decarbonization of the economy. These are objectives that we have been working on for years and that have marked our strategy of progressive replacement of thermal generation with renewable generation. The 23 green hydrogen projects that we are now presenting are associated with a renewable power capacity of almost 2,000 MW ”, highlights the General Director of Generation of Endesa, Rafael González . This power represents more than half of the 3,900 MW that the company has announced that it will start up in Spain between 2021 and 2023, according to the update of its strategic plan announced at the end of last November.

The materialization of these projects will contribute decisively to the achievement of the objectives set for the first phase (2020-2024) of the Hydrogen Roadmap , launched by the central Government. All hydrogen production projects contemplate investment in renewable generation parks dedicated to powering the electrolyzers. Although not exclusively since they also have the option of dumping the surplus electricity generated into the grid.

In addition, Endesa is also committed to developing a national industry for the manufacture of electrolyzers and capital goods , associated with the start-up of its green hydrogen projects. This is another of the strategic axes included in the Hydrogen Roadmap.

Endesa Planning the Development of 23 Green Hydrogen Projects with Investment of Over EUR2.9 Billion

Peninsular projects

The most advanced project, to date, is the one developed in As Pontes (A Coruña) and will have a 100 MW electrolyzer and six associated wind farms , with a combined capacity of 611 MW, whose construction would entail the creation of some 1,600 jobs during the 18 months of construction . Construction of the electrolyzer, which would take about 24 months from its inception, would employ about 120 people. Its operation and maintenance, for about 20 years, would require the work of about 100 people. The total investment of the As Pontes project will reach 738.2 million euros and the operation of the complex that would have a production of 10,000 tons of green hydrogen and would employ some130 professionals in operation and maintenance tasks (100 in the electrolyzer and another 30 in the wind farms).

It should be noted that the objective of this first project is to show that a facility of this size can be built, operated and maintained both from an economic, technical and environmental point of view.

The rest of the peninsular proposals (see table 1) will take place in Huelva, Teruel, Almería, Tarragona, the Ebro Valley (Hydrogen del Cierzo), Compostilla (León) and Seseña (Toledo). All together they will mean an associated power in electrolyzers of 215 MW , the creation of more than 500 jobs in its construction phase and around 220 more in the subsequent phases of operation and maintenance.

In total, the projects to be developed in mainland Spain bring together 2,000 million of investment and electrolyzers with an aggregate capacity of 315 MW.

Extrapeninsular projects

In the case of non-peninsular projects (see table 2), options are proposed that range from the production of energy with green hydrogen in new generation plants (Barranco de Tirajana, Granadilla and Alcudia, which will add electrolysers for a total of 25MW), the transition from operating plants to bi-fuel and the replacement of power from other operating plants with hydrogen / gas.

The initiatives presented in the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and Melilla total 900 million of investment.

As a whole, the 23 projects proposed by Endesa are diversified in locations and end uses of hydrogen: they would be developed in decarbonisation and just transition areas, island power generation systems, applications in the chemical industry, substitution of thermal consumption, and as fuel for heavy transport. The total production of all of them, once put into operation, would add 26,000 tons of hydrogen per year.

Green hydrogen potential

Renewable hydrogen is called to be a  key energy vector for the success of the decarbonization of the energy sector . In particular, it will play a fundamental role in those areas in which electrification is not the most efficient solution or it is not technically possible in the medium term. Likewise, the renewable hydrogen produced by electrolysis will contribute to the correct regulation of a 100% renewable electricity system, providing greater  flexibility and improving supply security .

However, the production and consumption of renewable hydrogen is a still incipient market, with a low degree of maturity. Currently, only around 500,000 tons of hydrogen are produced and consumed in Spain as a raw material, practically all from fossil fuels, as it has not been a competitive option until now.

In the anticipated context of a reduction in the cost of renewable generation, an increase in CO2 prices and the need for seasonal energy storage, renewable hydrogen production technologies could begin to be competitive in industrial uses in the coming years. In any case, at the present time  , support mechanisms continue to be necessary to make the use of hydrogen competitive  against other alternatives to demonstrate its viability. 

About Endesa

Endesa is the leading electricity company in Spain and the second in Portugal. It is also the second gas operator in the Spanish market. It develops an integrated business from generation to commercialization and also offers, through  Endesa X , added value services aimed at decarbonizing energy uses in homes, companies, industries and Public Administrations. Endesa is firmly committed to the  United Nations SDGs  and, as such, decisively promotes the development of renewable energies through Enel Green Power Spain, the electrification of the economy and Corporate Social Responsibility. In this last area, we also act from the  Endesa Foundation. Our human team has around 10,000 employees. Endesa is part of  Enel , the largest electricity group in Europe.


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