The H2Med, green hydrogen corridor that will link the Iberian Peninsula to the center of the European continent, has just received a new partner. This Sunday (22), at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz announced his country's entry into the project.
Thus, Germany joins France, Spain and Portugal in creating the infrastructure and commits to extending the pipeline to its territory. The goal is, along with other renewable energy sources, to no longer be dependent on Russian gas. After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, gas has become a political asset and the object of Vladimir Putin's veiled blackmail of the European Union and the countries that form NATO.
However, the operationalization of the corridor is estimated only for 2030. Although in an emergency it can also transport natural gas, the new pipeline will be designed entirely for the transfer of hydrogen.
Green hydrogen (H2V) is derived from water in an extraction process that uses electrical energy to break down the molecule and separate the hydrogen gas from the oxygen. According to Spain's Ministry for Ecological Transition, it is estimated that by 2050, 20% of all energy in Europe will be renewable hydrogen.
The H2Med will have the capacity to transport 2 million tons of green hydrogen per year between Barcelona (Spain) and Marseille (France) and 750,000 tons between Celorico da Beira (Portugal) and Zamora (Spain). There is still no data regarding the German branch.
The connection between Portugal and Spain is estimated at 350 million euros, while the underwater extension between Barcelona, Spain, and Marseille, France, could reach 2.5 billion euros.
In October, Portugal and Spain reached an agreement with France to build a new link between Barcelona and Marseille (BarMar). In December, the three governments presented the project to the EU, which can finance about 50 percent of the infrastructure.
"The green corridor definitely reinforces its European dimension," Spanish President Pedro Sánchez wrote in a message posted on Twitter.
In a statement, the Spanish government noted that "for the first time in history," the Iberian Peninsula could become "the leader of energy supply for all of Europe."
According to Spain's Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, "once the industrial needs of the Peninsula are met, hydrogen can be exported to the north, (...) making the energy transformation axis another pillar of European modernization."
"This pipeline that will connect Portugal, Spain, France and also Germany is a good project for the future," the German premier told journalists after Sunday's meeting.
"We have decided to extend the H2Med, which thanks to European funds will link Portugal, Spain and France, to Germany, which will be a partner in the infrastructure of this project," Macron said in turn.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni landed in Algeria on Sunday to consolidate an increase in gas supplies from the North African country.
Her predecessor, Mario Draghi, was in the African country twice last year to negotiate energy purchases and replace Russia, from whom it was buying 40% of its gas, as Italy's main supplier.