Government approves hydrogen strategy, €7B investments

  • Lusa
  • 22 May 2020

Portugal wants to have 5% of hydrogen in road transport consumption by 2030.

Portugal’s government approved on Thursday the national strategy for hydrogen, which foresees investments of 7 billion euros “by 2030”, leading to a reduction in natural gas imports of 300 to 600 million euros.

The hydrogen strategy was approved by the cabinet, which also approved the National Plan for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires, as well as other decree-laws on the forest and the governance model for the implementation of the National Programme for Spatial Planning Policy (PNPOT).

On the day that the 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan (PNEC) was also approved, the first version of which was presented at the end of last year, the Government approved for public consultation the National Strategy for Hydrogen (EN-H2), with the objective of “introducing an incentive and stability element for the energy sector”, according to a cabinet communiqué.

At the press conference after the meeting, the minister of the environment and climate action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, explained that producing hydrogen is part of the strategy of electrification and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

EN-H2 includes a large project in Sines, which will cost between 400 and 450 million euros out of the 7 billion euros, with the rest divided by smaller units, the minister said, explaining that 85% of that sum will be private investment.

According to Matos Fernandes, “Producing hydrogen in Portugal can be very cheap,” and the existing pipelines in Portugal are 70% ready to distribute hydrogen. Sines, the minister said, could be producing a gigawatt of energy with hydrogen in 2030.

In addition to meeting the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050, the hydrogen strategy approved today gives, the government says, “a solid framework and vision to all promoters with hydrogen projects in progress or at an early stage, allowing them to consolidate them into a broader and more coherent strategy that will enable new synergies and the necessary support”.

The development of an industry around green hydrogen in Portugal “has the potential to boost a new economic ecosystem, combined with the enormous potential for decarbonisation”, assures the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action.

The minister of the environment reminded the press conference that in 2030 47% of final energy consumption is to come from renewable sources. At that time it is also intended to reduce energy dependence to 65% and primary energy consumption to 35%.

Matos Fernandes also explained that “green hydrogen” will be able to be used as an energy source in the transport sector, with the parallel creation of filling stations.