Hydrogen as a fuel is one of the alternatives currently being considered to replace gasoline and diesel, especially in some countries in Europe and Asia, where cars with this gas are already on the road. The circulation of hydrogen vehicles on Spanish roads will be a reality before the end of 2020, according to the forecast of experts at the conference "Hydrogen in transport: infrastructures and vehicles" organized by the Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2) in the context of the Genera fair at IFEMA (Madrid).
The European Union Directive 2014/94 requires 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 refueling (hydrogen plants) is optional, Spain has decided to include it in the national action framework, as it represents a great potential for our country.
The network is not yet widespread in Spain, but deployment projects have already been presented.
In February 2021, Naturgy unveiled a project to build 38 hydrogen refueling stations (hydrogenerators) throughout Spain, which the company plans to build by 2025. In the second phase, the total infrastructure will be expanded to 120 hydrogen generators.
The first phase of the initiative proposes two types of hydrogen generators: 20 with on-site hydrogen production through electrolysers and 18 hydrogen generators without on-site hydrogen production. In all of these systems, hydrogen is delivered to vehicles through a dispensing system adapted to the needs of the vehicle.
The network of 38 hydrogen refueling stations will be set up throughout Spain, using the company's hydrogen production centers in La Robla, Mirara, Valencia, Palos de la Frontera and Alcázar de San Juan. Of these 38 sites, six are located 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.
At the proposal of the Ministry of Environmental Change and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), the Council of Ministers approved the "Hydrogen Roadmap: a commitment to renewable hydrogen" in October 2020. With this plan, the government promotes the use of this sustainable energy vector, which is crucial for Spain to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, with an electricity system composed of 100% renewable energy. The development of renewable hydrogen will promote the creation of innovative industrial value chains in our country, technological knowledge and the creation of sustainable jobs, contributing to the reactivation of a green economy with high added value.
In the area of mobility, a fleet of at least 150 buses, 5,000 light and heavy vehicles and 2 lines of commercial trains powered by renewable hydrogen is proposed by 2030. Similarly, a network of at least 100 hydrogen generators and hydrogen-powered cargo handling equipment should be established at the first five ports and airports.