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Spain: The National Hydrogen Center and Tecnalia Join Forces to Promote Development & Implementation of Hydrogen as an Energy Vector

By December 9, 2020 5   min read  (868 words)

December 9, 2020 |

National Hydrogen Center and Tecnalia Join Forces to Promote Development Implementation of Hydrogen as an Energy Vector
  • The two centers, with long experience in the field of hydrogen, have signed an agreement that will allow the development of advanced technologies and services around the main stages of the value chain: generation, distribution, storage and uses of hydrogen.
  • Currently, they collaborate in the development of innovative technologies for the use of “green” ammonia as energy storage on a large scale and for long periods of time.
  • Clean hydrogen is emerging as one of the essential areas to be addressed in the context of the energy transition and it is estimated that it could satisfy 24% of the world’s energy demand by 2050, with annual sales of 630,000 million euros.

Clean hydrogen is emerging as one of the essential areas to be addressed in the context of the energy transition, as the European Union is highlighting. In fact, in one of the reference documents “European Hydrogen Strategy” published on July 8, 2020, it is stated that clean hydrogen could satisfy 24% of the world’s energy demand by 2050, with annual sales of 630,000 million euros. In this context, the National Hydrogen Center (CNH2) and the technological research and development center of TECNALIA have reached an agreement to develop new key technologies along the hydrogen value chain that promote the generation of clean hydrogen, the start-up of new infrastructure for its transport and the promotion of new processes in which it can use.

The collaboration was sealed this morning at the TECNALIA facilities in the Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park, by Emilio Nieto, Director of CNH2, and by Iñaki San Sebastián, CEO of TECNALIA. According to Emilio Nieto, “We are facing a magnificent opportunity for collaboration and now is the ideal time to join forces and make strategic agreements that allow the capabilities of both organizations to be added.” For his part, Iñaki San Sebastián considers that “we are faced with the duty to help the industrial fabric to position itself strategically within the framework of the new hydrogen economy, and this agreement will allow companies to be supported in achieving this objective”.

This is a further step in the cooperation between the two centers, which are already working together on different research projects, such as the development of innovative technologies for the use of “green” ammonia as energy storage on a large scale and for long periods of time, in the European project ARENHA.

Green hydrogen, a key element for the energy transition

This agreement will allow facing the challenges associated with hydrogen, such as the generation of low-carbon or carbon-free hydrogen on a large scale and at a competitive cost, adapting the infrastructure to transport and distribute it from generation to the point of use, and adapting processes in which hydrogen can be used, both industrially and domestically. Meeting these challenges will make it possible to achieve the carbon neutrality commitments of the European Union by 2050, and obtain greater energy independence with respect to fossil fuel producing countries.

CNH2 and TECNALIA will work on developing innovative solutions to improve generation processes, both conventional and green hydrogen. Today hydrogen is generated mainly from fossil fuels, and the challenge in this case is to reduce its emissions, using, for example, technologies for capturing, storing and using carbon dioxide. Likewise, the production of “green” hydrogen is of great interest, generated from the electrolysis of water, using renewable energy – wind, solar – for this.

Identifying and promoting new uses for hydrogen once it has been generated are other main objectives of this collaboration, such as powering future hydrogen vehicles through hydrogen cells. The latest hydrogen car models have a range of up to 700 kilometers and can be charged in just five minutes. By 2030, Spain plans to have 5,000 vehicles of these characteristics and a fleet of 150 buses. As an infrastructure for this, 100 “hydrogen generators” are being proposed (the equivalent of current gas stations).

Finally, the objective of the collaboration is to help our industrial fabric to improve its competitiveness, generating advanced technologies and services that allow generating wealth and jobs in cutting-edge sectors.

About the National Hydrogen Center (CNH2)

The National Center for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Experimentation (CNH2) is a national research center, aimed at promoting scientific and technological research on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, being at the service of the entire community scientific, technological and industrial.

The CNH2 was created in 2007 as a Public Consortium between the Ministry of Education and Science, currently the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, and the Community Board of Castilla-La Mancha, with a participation of 50% each, and its headquarters It is located in Puertollano (Ciudad Real).

About TECNALIA

TECNALIA is a benchmark Technological Research and Development Center in Europe, belonging to BRTA (Basque Research and Technology Alliance), with 1,400 professionals of 30 nationalities, oriented to transform technology into GDP to improve people’s quality of life, creating opportunities of business in Companies. Its main areas of action are: Digital Transformation, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy Transition, Sustainable Mobility, Urban Ecosystem and Health.

It should be noted that Ekain Fernandez, a TECNALIA researcher, has been elected coordinator of the Hydrogen Distribution Committee in the prestigious ‘Hydrogen Europe Research’, the research group of the main European association of this novel energy vector that represents 160 industries, 83 research entities and 21 national associations.

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