Hydrogen as a fuel is one of the alternatives currently being considered to replace petrol and diesel, especially in some countries in Europe and Asia, where cars powered by this gas are already in circulation. The circulation of hydrogen vehicles on Spanish roads will be a reality before the end of 2020, according to the forecast made by experts in the field during the conference "Hydrogen in transport: infrastructures and vehicles" organised by the Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2) as part of the Genera Fair held at IFEMA (Madrid).
European Union Directive 2014/94 obliged each member country to develop a National Action Framework for Alternative Energies in Transport by the end of 2016. Hydrogen has its own chapter in the Directive and, although the development of infrastructures for its refuelling (hydrogen plants) is optional, Spain has decided to consider it in the National Action Framework given the potential it represents for our country.
The network is still scarce in Spain, but implementation projects have already been presented.
In February 2021, Naturgy presented a project for the construction of 38 hydrogen refuelling stations (hydrogenerators) throughout Spain, which the company expects to have in place by 2025. In the second phase, the total infrastructure will reach 120 hydrogenerators.
In the first phase of the initiative, two types of hydrogenerators are proposed: 20 with on-site hydrogen production via electrolysers and 18 hydrogenerators without on-site hydrogen production. In all these systems, hydrogen is supplied to vehicles through a dispenser adapted to the needs of the vehicle.
The network of 38 hydrogen stations will be deployed throughout Spain, using the company's hydrogen production centres located in La Robla, Mirara, Valencia, Palos de la Frontera and Alcázar de San Juan. Of these 38 locations, six will be in Andalusia, five in Castilla y La Mancha, four in Castilla y León and Catalonia, three in the Community of Madrid, two in Galicia, Valencia, Murcia, Aragon, Navarre and Extremadura, and one each in the Balearic Islands, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country.
The Council of Ministers, at the proposal of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), approved in October 2020 the "Hydrogen Roadmap: a commitment to renewable hydrogen". With this plan, the Government is promoting the deployment of this sustainable energy vector, which will be key for Spain to achieve climate neutrality, with a 100% renewable electricity system, no later than 2050. The development of renewable hydrogen will encourage the creation of innovative industrial value chains in our country, technological knowledge and the generation of sustainable employment, contributing to the reactivation towards a green economy with high added value.
In terms of mobility, by 2030, a fleet of at least 150 buses; 5,000 light and heavy vehicles; and 2 lines of commercial trains powered by renewable hydrogen are proposed. Similarly, a network of at least 100 hydrogenerators and hydrogen-powered handling machinery should be implemented in the first 5 ports and airports.