Acciona is committed to green hydrogen with the creation of a joint venture with Nordex to develop projects of these characteristics in areas with abundant wind resources available, not connected to conventional electricity grids, where they can be produced at competitive costs. The new company already has eight such sites located in the United States, Latin America and Africa and is evaluating new opportunities in other parts of the world. The company will not operate in Spain and Portugal, where Acciona Energía has an alliance with Plug Power.
With a target renewable energy development pipeline of 50GW, the joint venture's plan is to develop projects that will produce 0.5 million tons of green hydrogen annually within the next ten years. The first would be ready-to-build by 2027.
Each of the projects, whose minimum size will be 1GW of installed renewable power, will be deployed through strategic agreements with other public and private companies and institutions interested in the production or mass consumption of green hydrogen.
In this new joint venture, the Acciona group will have a 50% stake - equally distributed between Acciona and Acciona Energía - and Nordex the remaining 50%. The operation has been articulated through the purchase of half of Nordex's subsidiary for the development of green hydrogen projects by both Acciona companies for a deferred amount of E68 million, to be paid over the next four years.
The partners contribute a unique combination of experience and expertise across the entire value chain for the development of the project, such as the provision of renewable technology solutions in all types of environments, the efficient management of large energy and industrial facilities, water treatment or the construction of large infrastructure projects.
Acciona also has global experience in the execution of ports and the operation of large concessions. Both partners have in-depth knowledge of the logistical requirements for the successful development of a project of this nature.
Nordex has been working for the last year in its plant in Barasoain (Navarra) in the development of a new prototype of pressurized alkaline electrolyzer adapted to the variable operation of renewable sources. This initiative has been recognized as an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI).
The development of the electrolyzer is currently in an advanced R&D phase, with the aim of increasing the operational flexibility of alkaline technologies. At a later stage, Nordex will develop the modular prototype at its facilities in Navarra.
Demand for green hydrogen in the world will grow exponentially, by around 700%, over the next 30 years, driven by the decarbonization of the economy, according to various studies. As a result, green hydrogen could contribute 20% of total emission reduction needs by 2050. More than 25 countries have already established green hydrogen plans.
The European Commission published its REPowerEU plan in May last year, which charts the European Union's (EU) path towards rapidly reducing energy dependence on fossil fuels by 2027. The plan aims to produce ten million tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU and the same amount from imports by 2030. With their alliances with Plug Power and Nordex, Acciona and Acciona Energía will be benchmark operators in both markets.
"Green hydrogen will be key to ending greenhouse gas emissions in sectors that are very difficult to decarbonize, such as industry, agriculture, or air and maritime transport," said José Manuel Entrecanales, chairman and CEO of Acciona. "This joint venture complements our alliance with Plug Power for Spain and Portugal, which is more focused on proximity solutions for our customers."
"Thanks to our experience in wind project development, Nordex has been able to build an attractive portfolio of green hydrogen projects in interesting geographies, as well as a close network of excellent local developers and experienced partners," explains José Luis Blanco, CEO of the Nordex Group. "We are very pleased to now accelerate these achievements together with Acciona which has extensive experience in large infrastructure projects."