According to João Bernardo, the Director General of Energy and Geology, there are already “30 hydrogen producers registered” with the Directorate General of Energy and Geology (DGEG), whose projects are still being evaluated.
As a result of a parliamentary hearing on the plans of REN – National Energy Networks to invest in electricity and natural gas networks, Jo*o Bernardo reported that some of the registered producers are already testing the incorporation of green hydrogen into the natural gas network, citing pilot projects in Seixal and Evora.
In order to adapt the distribution networks to hydrogen and other renewable gases, the concessionaires estimate that they will have to invest nearly 24 million euros in the next five years.
Tuesday’s hearing in Parliament focused, however, on the investment plans for the gas and electricity transport networks (operated by REN) and not the distribution networks.
ERSE’s president, Pedro Verdelho, told MPs that the agency’s attitude towards new investments in natural gas is one of “prudence”, but that “the new investments must be prepared for receiving decarbonized gas”, whether it be hydrogen or other renewables.
There has been a multiplicity of investment intentions in this area in recent months, especially using the support that has been offered by the state to leverage green hydrogen projects and other renewable gases. However, the director-general of Energy and Geology did not go into detail about the hydrogen producers already registered with the DGEG.
After launching a first notice for this purpose last year, dozens of applications were received for 62 million euros of investment support.
As part of its commitment to decarbonizing industry, the government plans to launch an auction in the area of hydrogen to support the production and consumption prices of this resource.
Additionally, companies in the energy sector and the hydrogen industry are interested in the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) under the agenda for innovation, which distributes additional funds to various consortia that bring together companies and academic institutions with innovative projects. Large-scale hydrogen units are included in several of these projects.