Repsol-headed consortium to invest EUR3 bn in hydrogen energy in Spain
The SHYNE (Spanish Hydrogen Network) project, the largest renewable hydrogen consortium in Spain, made up of 33 entities from different sectors, was presented recently at Campus Repsol, the headquarters of the multi-energy company. It brings together 22 companies and 11 associations, technology centres, and universities under the leadership of Repsol with the aim of promoting renewable hydrogen projects in all areas of the Spanish economy and, thus, stimulating rapid and effective decarbonisation through this energy vector that is considered one of the keys to the energy transition.
SHYNE aspires to be a benchmark project in Europe, structuring new opportunities throughout the value chain, through collaboration between companies that pursue a common goal: decarbonising their activity, and joining efforts and investments to achieve it. To this end, the project has six promoting partners, in addition to Repsol. All are leading companies in their sectors: Alsa, Bosch, Celsa, Enagas, Scania, and Talgo.
The projects grouped in SHYNE will involve an accumulated investment of EUR3.23 billion. This investment will enable the implementation of different initiatives for the production, distribution, and use of renewable hydrogen in the industrial sector, in transport, as well as other applications, and the development of pioneering technologies and acceleration if the deployment plans for this gas. The overall project is expected to generate more than 13,000 jobs.
The Secretary of State for Energy, Sara Aagesen, participated in the presentation ceremony, pointing out that “renewable hydrogen is a national project. It is the piece of the puzzle we were missing to move towards the decarbonisation of the economy, achieve climate neutrality in 2050, and advance in the development of knowledge, ‘made in Spain’ technology, and the consolidation of the business fabric and industrial value chains”.
Aagesen also highlighted the important role of hydrogen in the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen, and Storage (PERTE ERHA) and pointed out that the SHYNE initiative “is set within the Government’s integrative country project”, which “in line with the objectives of PERTE ERHA will promote the development of renewable hydrogen clusters” and that “it is a tractor project for the industrial and technological fabric, with a global approach that brings together large, medium, and small companies.”
Almost 11 associations, technology centres and universities are collaborating partners in the projects. These include the Spanish Hydrogen Association (AEH2), the National Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Experimentation (CNH2), the Spanish Society of Ceramics and Glass, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Automotive Technology Centre of the Region of Galicia (CTAG), the Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in the Region of Aragon (FHa), the Energy Research Institute of the Region of Catalonia (IREC), TECNALIA, and Cidetec, as well as the universities of Castile-La Mancha and Alicante.
The consortium is made up of 22 companies from different sectors, such as Iberia and Balearia, leaders in air and maritime transport, respectively. The public company Navantia and PYMAR, a company that brings together small and medium-sized private shipyards in Spain. Steel companies such as Sidenor, AMES Group, and Tubacex. Calvera, which designs gas storage and distribution systems. Electricity production companies such as BBE. Engineering companies for electric mobility, such as EPowerlabs. Primafrío, specialised in refrigerated transport; the leading engineering company in marine solutions, Wartsila. The technology companies Zigor, which develops power electronics systems, and Magrana, specialized in innovative solutions for industry. Also, DYPAM, a spin-off of the University of Castile-La Mancha that is focused on designing and processing advanced materials. The synergies between these entities through the SHYNE consortium will drive coordinated industrial developments throughout the hydrogen value chain.
Spain is in a privileged position compared to other countries to capture the opportunities generated by the new renewable hydrogen economy thanks to the great availability of solar and wind resources, as well as the industry’s own capacity to adapt to a new economy around the hydrogen value chain.
The SHYNE project aims to generate an ecosystem that connects the large regional hydrogen initiatives already underway, such as the Basque Region Hydrogen Corridor (BH2C), the Hydrogen Valley of the Region of Catalonia, and the Hydrogen Valley of the Region of Murcia. In addition, SHYNE will promote the creation of two new innovation hubs in the regions of Castile-La Mancha and Madrid. Their objective will be the advancement of competitive technologies that are under development, such as photoelectrocatalysis or solid oxide electrolysis (SOEC). These technologies will help the country to maintain technological sovereignty in this new energy vector.
A knowledge management centre will also be created in Madrid to coordinate cross-cutting actions and position the participating technology centres and universities as centres of reference in Europe. In this way, an efficient network will be created that will capture the synergies between production poles, industrial centres, and other hydrogen consumers, ensuring the competitiveness of the renewable gas and avoiding the transfer of additional costs to end users.
The SHYNE project is perfectly aligned with the objectives outlined by both the European Union and the Spanish Government. The latter, in the Hydrogen Roadmap published in October 2020, has set the target of reaching 4 GW of capacity by 2030. For its part, the “Spain Can Plan” supports the creation of this type of consortia, especially those that are multisectoral and integrate the entire value chain and that promote public-private collaboration and collaboration with small and medium-sized companies, as well as with research centres to boost the hydrogen economy.
In turn, SHYNE is aligned with the Strategic Projects for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (PERTE ERHA) of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan launched by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge last December.
Renewable hydrogen is one of the pillars of Repsol’s strategy to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. The company presented its renewable hydrogen strategy last October, with which it aims to lead production in the Iberian Peninsula and play a leading role in Europe. To this end, it will use all available technologies and is developing, together with Enagás, a proprietary technology called photoelectrocatalysis that will be capable of producing hydrogen from water and sunlight.
Repsol’s industrial complexes, which are currently undergoing a transformation process to become multi-energy hubs, are true nerve centres for renewable hydrogen initiatives and will play a key role in SHYNE. They will combine the production and use of this gas to transform it into products with a low, zero, or a negative carbon footprint, such as sustainable fuels and materials for construction or healthcare, among others.
The synergies between the companies collaborating in SHYNE will support coordinated industrial developments throughout the hydrogen value chain, maximizing investment capacities. This premise will be key to achieving decarbonisation in the most efficient manner and at the lowest cost, mainly in sectors where today electrification is not a solution, such as the steel sector in which Celsa develops its activity, or in transport segments such as aviation and maritime, railway, or heavy long-distance transport, with Iberia, Balearia, Talgo, and Alsa as benchmarks. Thus, the challenge of decarbonisation becomes a great opportunity to generate wealth and technological and industrial development in Spain through this new renewable hydrogen economy.