Portugal’s Hydrogen Investment:
Portugal’s government approved the national strategy for hydrogen, which foresees investments of 7 billion euros “by 2030”, expecting to reduce the natural gas imports between 300 to 600 million euro per years. At the press conference, 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.
The Portuguese Hydrogen plan includes a large project in Sines at its centre stage, ranked among the world’s largest hydrogen production plants planned so far, which will imply investments of approximately €5bn ($5.4bn). According to government studies, “Producing hydrogen in Portugal can be very cheap,” and the existing gas pipelines in Portugal are 70% ready to distribute hydrogen. Sines, the minister said, could be producing a 1 gigawatt of energy with hydrogen in 2030.
National utility giant EDP and Portuguese oil & gas group Galp are both considering participating in the project, alongside with the potential collaboration of the Dutch Government. Nevertheless, the government has extended the invitation to all private companies interested in participating in this project in the fields of energy production, storage and distribution.
From a different point of view, this investment on low-cost renewable energy production will likely attract the establishment of new industries in Portugal. The competitive price of energy and the possibility of reducing carbon emissions, which will convert the industry into a “green business”, together with cheap and qualified labour work, will certainly be taken into account by large multinational companies when considering new business opportunities.
Portugal launches a new solar energy auction:
The Portuguese Government announced a new solar auction for a capacity of 700 MVA (megavolt-ampere), divided into 12 lots, for solar power stations in Alentejo and Algarve, stating that hat “the acquisition bids within the scope of this procedure may not, under the terms of Regulation 2016/631 of the European Commission of 14 April 2016, be less than 10 MVA, at the points of connection to the National Distribution Network, and 50 MVA, at the points of connection to the National Transport Network, having as a maximum limit the capacity put up for auction in each lot to which it relates”. Applicants can now submit their bids until 31 July!
Last year Portugal awarded 1.2GW of solar contracts after a tender that attracted a then record-low bid of €14.80 ($16.46) per MWh. Portugal’s bet on solar energy takes advantage of the fact that it is Europe’s country with the higher solar exposure year-round.