"We will take the necessary steps to establish a European framework for hydrogen transport throughout Europe with the necessary infrastructure at national and transnational level," stresses the text published after the meeting between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty that laid the foundations of the alliance between the two countries shortly after World War II.
Paris and Berlin have also stressed that they already have a high-level joint working group on energy and a joint working group on hydrogen that will present its conclusions and recommendations on the development of this source of eenergy at the end of April. The ultimate goal is to "develop large-scale hydrogen production and build a resilient European hydrogen market."
"We will also ensure that renewable and low-carbon hydrogen can be taken into account in the decarbonization targets set at European level while being aware of the existing differences and preserving the overall level of ambition of the targets in terms of renewable energies," the Franco-German joint declaration stresses.
Satisfaction from Spain
Spain has expressed its satisfaction with the news through the third vice-president and minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera. "H2Med's plans continue!!!! Chancellor Scholz confirms Germany's interest in joining the project," she posted in a message on social networks, picked up by Europa Press.
Likewise, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has celebrated the fact that Germany is joining the project and has assured that the green corridor definitively reinforces its pan-European dimension by being a new "Iberian solution".
"After the Treaty of Barcelona, the green corridor definitely reinforces its pan-European dimension. A new Iberian solution, and that makes two, in favor of European energy sovereignty," he added in a message on the social network Twitter, collected by Europa Press.
According to a statement from the Ministry, a "definitive achievement" is thus reached to the necessarily European vocation with which Spain sized this hydro-product since it began to promote it from the beginning of the project, as witnessed by the presence of the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, at the presentation of H2Med at the last Alicante Summit, on December 9, 2022.
Likewise, the incorporation of Germany underlines two commitments expressed by Spain with the implementation of this green energy corridor.
Firstly, to strengthen energy security and the EU's energy autonomy in a context in which it is "essential" for Europeans to show solidarity in order to reduce energy dependence.
Secondly, H2Med reiterates Europe's ambition in its climate neutrality and fulfills Spain's will to "place itself at the head of the race for energy transition, leading the development of renewable energies, with the vocation also to be a reference in hydrogen", in the words of the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez.
The document highlights that the "reinforcement of this pan-European dimension of H2Med places Spain at the forefront of the modernizing transformation and, for the first time in history, in a position to become a leading green energy hub from the Iberian Peninsula to the center and north of Europe".
For the vice-president, "the use of renewable hydrogen can provide important solutions, but also innovation, job creation and industrial value chain in an economy like Spain's, in southern Europe, where there is much to contribute" to the rest of the EU.
This Sunday's agreement comes after negotiations between the governments of Spain, Germany, France and Portugal, "favored by their profoundly pro-European vision and by the intense social and progressive political harmony that unites them", the Ministry emphasizes.
Already on December 15, when Enagás and other operators from France and Portugal promoting H2Med requested the European Commission that this green hydrogen corridor, key to the REPowerEU objectives, be considered a Project of Community Interest -- financed with up to 50% from European funds -- operators from Germany joined in a joint letter sent to the Commission, expressing "their strong support" for the project and their desire to make H2Med the backbone of renewable hydrogen supply for most of Europe.
H2Med will be operational in 2030 and is expected to be capable of transporting 2 million tons of green hydrogen per year from Spain, representing 10% of the total consumed by the EU. By 2050, it is estimated that 20% of all energy in Europe will be renewable hydrogen.