Renewable energy and sustainable solutions are gaining significant momentum as countries worldwide strive to reduce carbon emissions and enhance energy security. Portugal has emerged as a frontrunner in this transition, with plans to incorporate green hydrogen into its high-pressure natural gas grid. In an exciting development, REN (Redes Energéticas Nacionais), the operator responsible for the country’s natural gas transportation and interconnections, has initiated the process of adapting its infrastructure to accommodate up to 10% green hydrogen by the end of this year. This move aligns with Portugal’s ambition to become a leading producer and exporter of green hydrogen, driving Europe’s hydrogen market forward.
The Auction for Green Hydrogen:
Portugal’s government intends to hold its inaugural auction later this year, offering rights to sell green hydrogen for injection into the national gas grids. This auction is expected to stimulate investment in the green hydrogen sector and play a crucial role in Europe’s transition to a low-carbon future. As European nations seek effective means to combat carbon emissions and bolster energy security, hydrogen is emerging as a viable solution.
REN’s Infrastructure Adaptation:
To facilitate the integration of green hydrogen, REN must modify its extensive 1,375-kilometer (854-mile) high-pressure natural gas grid across mainland Portugal. This transformation enables the grid to handle a combination of natural gas and hydrogen. REN has already initiated the process of adapting the necessary instruments to measure the quality of the transported gases. It expects these adaptations to be completed by the end of this year, which will pave the way for the official certification required to transport up to 10% green hydrogen.
A Strategic Approach to Renewable Gases:
In line with European Union policies, REN is committed to adapting its existing infrastructures to accommodate renewable gases while also developing dedicated infrastructures for 100% hydrogen. By embracing this strategic approach, REN is positioning itself at the forefront of the green energy transition. The incorporation of green hydrogen into the existing grid is a vital step towards achieving carbon neutrality and underscores Portugal’s commitment to a sustainable future.
Portugal’s Aspirations as a Green Hydrogen Producer:
Portugal aims to establish itself as a major producer and exporter of green hydrogen. Energy Secretary Ana Fontoura recently disclosed the country’s ambitious investment intentions to install green hydrogen plants with a capacity exceeding the government’s projected 2.5 GW by 2030. This significant commitment demonstrates Portugal’s determination to harness the full potential of green hydrogen as a cornerstone of its sustainable energy strategy.
Key Industry Collaborations:
In support of Portugal’s green hydrogen ambitions, prominent companies across various sectors have already joined forces to promote the development of green hydrogen initiatives. Oil and gas company Galp plans to construct a green hydrogen unit in the industrial hub of Sines, while collaborating with EDP-Energias de Portugal on another plant. Moreover, a consortium comprising the three major glass producers and the country’s two largest cement manufacturers, responsible for 10% of Portugal’s industrial carbon emissions, has also formed to establish a green hydrogen unit.
Portugal’s efforts to integrate green hydrogen into its high-pressure natural gas grid represent a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards carbon neutrality. REN’s commitment to adapt its infrastructure and obtain the necessary certification underscores the nation’s determination to lead the way in the green energy revolution. As Portugal aspires to become a major producer and exporter of green hydrogen, it sets an inspiring example for other countries seeking sustainable energy solutions. With the imminent auction for green hydrogen rights, the stage is set for Europe’s hydrogen market to experience accelerated growth and play a crucial role in shaping a greener, more sustainable future.