Challenge for Suriname
Out of your Box thoughts
Amsterdam, March 1st, 2023– Dutch companies will import green hydrogen from Spain, which can produce more sustainable energy than it can consume itself.
Spain and Portugal also produce more solar and wind energy than they need themselves.
They convert that energy into hydrogen for export.
Dutch companies will bring this hydrogen to our country.
From 2027, Spanish ships full of hydrogen must dock in the port of Rotterdam. In southern Spain, two green hydrogen plants are currently being built for €3 billion, both of which must be operational in four years. Together they must ensure a reduction of six million tons of CO₂ per year, approximately the annual emissions of three million cars.
The factories belong to oil company Cepsa, where former Shell manager
Maarten Wetselaar has been CEO since last year. Wetselaar is an important link between the Netherlands and Spain. On behalf of Cepsa, which produces more and more sustainable energy, he made agreements with three Dutch companies about cooperation last week.
These are tank storage company Vopak, storage and transshipment company HES International and Gasunie. They will share knowledge with the Spaniards and will be involved in the infrastructure for hydrogen storage in the Netherlands. Wetselaar: “Partnerships and cooperation are needed throughout Europe to ensure energy security without jeopardizing climate goals.”
The Dutch need for green energy from Spain was emphasized last week with a working visit by Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten (D66), who visited a large hydrogen plant in Spain with a delegation from the Dutch business community.
Spain is quickly trying to become a leader in sustainable energy. The conditions in the country are good, because Spain has more than enough sunshine.
The country has an average of 2500 hours of sunshine per year, a thousand more than in the Netherlands. Spain also has room for windmills: the country is twelve times larger than the Netherlands and has only two and a half times as many inhabitants. So a lot of empty space.
Spain recently also has wind turbines in the sea, near the Canary Islands and Bilbao. There is still great potential there. After all, the country is largely surrounded by the sea.
Hydrogen as a solution
The good news for the Netherlands is that Spain and Portugal will soon be able to produce more solar and wind energy than they need. Storing and exporting this energy has long been a problem. This is now possible, thanks to factories that convert solar and wind energy into hydrogen. It can be stored and transported.
The largest green hydrogen factory in Europe — the factory that Jetten visited — is located in Puertollano, southern Spain. In Spain, hundreds of buses are already running on fuel from the factory owned by electricity company Iberdrola. It is the pride of the town located halfway between Madrid and Málaga.
But director Jorge Palomar Herrero of Iberdrola can also put things into perspective. “It is an important step that we have taken here, but we are not there yet,” he said at an international conference on sustainable energy in Madrid last week.
Iberdrola is going to build many more factories in the coming years and is joining forces with the British BP. The race for the position of Spanish hydrogen leader seems to have started. Repsol, Spain’s largest oil company, already claims that title. That company announced an investment of €3.2 billion, just slightly more than number two and major competitor Cepsa.
Portugal also has big plans. This will include two hydrogen factories near the port city of Sines, from where exports will also take place. The port of Rotterdam has already signed a letter of intent with Portugal for the import of green hydrogen. And also with a number of other countries, from Canada to South Africa. Spain and Portugal are close to the Netherlands and are therefore attractive partners. Dutch minister Jetten will visit Portugal in June.
End Part I