The study, the first of its kind examining the green hydrogen sector in Catalonia, was presented at a conference on Monday with the participation of the Secretary for Enterprise and Competitiveness, Albert Castellanos.
The hydrogen ecosystem in Catalonia is made up of 140 companies with a joint turnover of 426 million euros and generates over 1,300 jobs. These are some of the main figures from the report ‘Green hydrogen in Catalonia’, prepared by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment.
The strategic importance of hydrogen
Hydrogen can be produced from various sources. As detailed in the report, it can be classified into up to eight types, categorized into several colors depending on the method of obtaining them. Green hydrogen, which is obtained by water electrolysis using renewable energy sources such as hydraulic, wind or solar power, is the only climate neutral variant.
In fact, the global turnover of sector will reach 16,540 million dollars in 2025, with 56% year-on-year growth. The potential of this resource for decarbonizing the economy is driving global investment in this area, which will be over 340,000 million dollars until 2030, favored by the drop of costs in its production, which will be 62% in 2030 compared to 2020.
During his speech in the presentation of the study, Castellanos stressed that “green hydrogen is strategic for Catalonia and a key element to achieve a sustainable, distributed and decentralized energy model“.
Likewise, the Secretary of Business and Competitiveness added that “Catalonia has a unique concentration of factors that make it particularly suitable for green hydrogen development, such as undisputed leadership in the chemical sector, a solid industrial base and the technological and knowhow skills to deploy this energy carrier“.
A growth sector in Catalonia
The companies making up the hydrogen ecosystem in Catalonia operate mainly (61%) in the process of hydrogen transformation, while 23% are involved in the production phase.
More than half are exporting companies (55%) and with a turnover of more than 10 million euros (58%). In fact, 82% of the total already show a turnover of over one million euros.
Initiatives to boost green hydrogen in Catalonia
Catalonia also has a situation that favors the deployment of the hydrogen ecosystem, with eight technology and research centers investigating this resource.
In fact, according to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the funds from “Next Generation EU is turning Catalonia into a European hydrogen valley”.
In 2021, a master’s degree in Hydrogen Technologies, promoted by the Catalan Polytechnical University and the Rovira and Virgili University was launched, while the rest of the university and training offer is framed within the field of renewable energies.
There are also several major initiatives in Catalonia working towards promoting the use of green hydrogen. One is the Ebro Hydrogen Corridor which involves three other regions in Spain – Aragon, Navarre, and the Basque Country.
It has a target of 400 MW of green hydrogen production in 2025 and 1.5 GW in 2030, as well as a network of 20 hydrogen stations by 2025 and 100 in 2030, not to mention 250,000 tonnes of green hydrogen products by 2030.
Another initiative, the Hydrogen Valley of Catalonia, is made up of 144 companies,11 clusters and associations, 41 public bodies and 8 research centers.
And, finally, there is H2ValleyCAT, one of the 27 emblematic projects selected to apply to the Next Generation EU Fund to boost green hydrogen in Catalonia and which has a €6.6 billion budget.
A cross-cutting impact
The European Union wants to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, thus it is promoting its own strategy for the development of green hydrogen, an element that can play a key role in the decarbonization of the economy and, especially, in the transformation of industry.
In fact, according to the study by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade &Investment, green hydrogen can be a key element for sustainability in sectors as diverse as mobility, construction, energy, or industry itself.
Download the report Green Hydrogen in Catalonia