The Hydrogen Valley project of Catalonia is already a reality. The plan, which provides for promoting technological and industrial infrastructures around this energy in Tarragona , has been presented this Friday.
The initiative is supported by some thirty public and private institutions that have presented at the Tarragona Conference Center with the signing of a collective memorandum. The Hydrogen Valley of CataloniaIt has been identified by the Generalitat as one of the 27 leading projects for economic recovery with the aim of deploying a hydrogen economy and society that achieves climate neutrality.
The agreement also aims to favor the access of projects associated with the Hydrogen Valley to European funds through the instruments made available from the Spanish Government.
The hydrogen is traditionally considered the perfect fuel since from the water can be used in internal combustion engine or a fuel cell to generate power.
This technology is based on the generation of hydrogen through electrolysis, which uses electrical current to separate hydrogen from oxygen in the water without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There are still some questions about the massive viability of green hydrogen due to its high cost of production.
The vice president of the Government, Pere Aragonès ; the ‘Minister’ of Company, Ramon Tremosa ; the presidents of Enagás and Repsol, Antoni Llardén and Antoni Brufau , respectively; the rector of the URV, María José Figueras ; the presidents of the Tarragona Chemical Business Association (AEQT) and the Port of Tarragona, Rubén Folgado and Josep Maria Cruset , respectively; the president of the Tarragona Provincial Council, Noemí Llauradó ; and the vice president of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Montserrat Ballarín .
Aragonès wanted to highlight the “firmness and determination” of the transforming project, which is not only for Tarragona, which is also crucial and exciting for the Catalonia of the future.
The project must ensure quality jobs, according to Aragonès, and ensure “the transformation that is needed” and with the ability to take advantage of European funds to reactivate strategic and future-oriented sectors. Basic principles such as energy saving and the circular economy are key in the future and hydrogen will play a clear role, according to Aragonès, in a decarbonized Europe and the reduction of emissions.
Tremosa has highlighted the relevance of European funds to promote economic recovery and reconvert the current industry. Tremosa has recognized the importance of the Administration, but above all of the companies to promote changes.
The role of Tarragona in the development of hydrogen as a source of energy is, according to the logical ‘minister’ given the current weight of the petrochemical complex on a European scale and having the appropriate means to advance in this field of great expectations.
The rector of the Rovira i Virgili University, María José Figueras, highlighted the transversality of a project. He considers that “the public-private joint leadership will promote the projects of the Valley and will make possible an industrial energy transition that generates a significant economic and social impact in the territory.”
The president of Enagás, Antonio Llardén, has stated that, “in line with Enagás’s commitment to decarbonization and the just transition, this agreement will serve to enhance the industrial and technological capabilities of the energy and industrial sectors of Catalonia, thanks to the development of a renewable hydrogen economy in accordance with the European and Spanish roadmaps “.
Llardén stressed the importance of “creating a market” for hydrogen, which will have a “key role · in his opinion from an industrial development perspective and is” a great candidate “to obtain European funds for its development.
Repsol President Antoni Brufau highlighted the public-private collaboration exemplified by the Hydrogen Valley project, in the idea of achieving a “sustainable and competitive society”.
The vice president of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Montserrat Ballarín, said that the project has a “special meaning” in a moment of pandemic, which forces to rethink the economic model. The just ecological transition should focus, according to Ballarín, on mobility and promote the hydrogen-based vehicle for public transport. Around fifty hydrogen buses are expected to circulate in the metropolitan area in the next few years.
For the mayor of Tarragona, Pau Ricomà, the Hydrogen Valley is key in a “foreseeable industrial reconversion” of the Tarragona area that will mean cuts in industrial employment in the area in the future.
He stressed the urgency of “drawing” a future that places the province as a “center of industrial and competitiveness in a sustainable sector for an area traditionally linked to the chemical and nuclear sector.” The president of the Tarragona Provincial Council, Noemí Llauradó, has highlighted the sum of efforts to develop an energy transition promoted by the local sphere.