European companies unveil plan for massive solar-to-hydrogen network

An alliance that includes Vinci Construction has been formed by 30 French, Spanish, Italian and German companies to produce hydrogen from solar energy at a similar cost to fossil fuels.

The HyDeal Ambition project aims to produce 3.6 million tonnes of hydrogen a year – equivalent to one-and-a-half months of oil consumption in France.

It plans to build 93GW of solar power plants and 67GW of electrolysis capacity in Spain, France and Germany by 2030. This should enable the cost of the fuel to be cut to €1.5 a kg, including transmission and storage.

The first HyDeal project is due to begin in Spain next year, and will be followed by others in southwest France, followed by eastern France and Germany.

HyDeal joins another European project, the NortH2 scheme, which aims to use vast offshore wind farms to power an electrolysing plant in the Netherlands to produce hydrogen for European distribution through existing natural gas infrastructure (see further reading).

A press statement from HyDeal commented: "HyDeal Ambition constitutes a complete industrial ecosystem spanning the whole green hydrogen value chain (upstream, midstream, downstream, finance), and results from two years of research, analysis, modelling, feasibility studies and contract design. HyDeal Ambition makes it possible to produce and deliver competitive green hydrogen in Europe."

The HyDeal Ambition group includes the following companies and organisations:

  • Solar developers: DH2/Dhamma Energy (Spain), Falck Renewables (Italy), Qair (France)
  • Electrolysis and engineering specialists: McPhy Energy (France), Vinci Construction (France)
  • Gas companies: Enagas (Spain), OGE (Germany), SNAM (Italy), GRTgaz (France), Terega (France)
  • Industrial groups: Gazel Energie, (France), Naturgy (Spain), HDF Energie (France)

Image: The Fuentes de Andalucía solar power plant in Spain (Barmalini/Dreamstime)

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