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UAE’s Masdar to develop green hydrogen in Spain

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Hamead Ahrary, managing director of Verbund Green Hydrogen and Masdar chief green hydrogen officer Mohammad El Ramahi at Cop28 in Expo City Dubai

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is exploring developing a green hydrogen plant in central Spain to aid in the decarbonisation of Europe’s hard-to-abate sectors.

The Abu Dhabi-based renewables energy company is collaborating with Verbund Green Hydrogen on the proposed venture – in an agreement which was signed at the UN’s Climate Change Conference Cop28 in Dubai.

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The companies will undertake a feasibility study for the prospective plant in the Castilla-La Mancha region that aims to generate green hydrogen to cover industrial demand in Spain and central Europe. 

The green hydrogen produced at the plant has the potential to displace up to one million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to removing around 700,000 cars from the road every year. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of the decade.

Spain currently consumes around 500,000 tonnes of mainly traditional fuel-derived “gray” hydrogen per year, which could be gradually replaced with green hydrogen. 

By 2035, Austria alone is forecast to require around 600,000 tonnes per year of clean hydrogen.

Michael Strugl, CEO of Verbund, stated that the goal is to identify the subsequent way forward towards large-scale hydrogen production in Spain. 

“Partnerships like this are essential to jointly ramp up the European hydrogen market to meet decarbonisation goals.”

Most European Union nations have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The hydrogen rainbow

  • Green hydrogen is produced on a carbon-neutral basis through water electrolysis. 
  • Turquoise hydrogen is created when natural gas is broken down into hydrogen and solid carbon with the help of methane pyrolysis.
  • Blue hydrogen is generated from the steam reduction of natural gas. 
  • Grey hydrogen is obtained by steam reforming fossil fuels such as natural gas or coal. 
  • Sometimes other colours are ascribed to hydrogen, based on how it is produced. For red, pink and violet hydrogen, the electrolysers are driven by nuclear power. 
  • Yellow hydrogen is hydrogen produced from a mixture of renewable energies and fossil fuels. 
  • White hydrogen is a waste product of other chemical processes, while the use of coal as a fuel produces brown hydrogen.

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