Iberdrola Group continues to pursue its green hydrogen ambitions via a new €170 million large-scale green hydrogen plant at Felixstowe in the UK.
Iberdrola’s planned green hydrogen plant at Felixstowe will help fuel transport to and from the port.
Ports have been identified as a prime hub for hydrogen generation due to their proximity to existing and new renewable energy from offshore wind farms.
The project has the potential to double its capacity by tying together three renewable power projects by ScottishPower Renewables in the region.
Iberdrola (MC:IBE) is making the investment through its ScottishPower subsidiary. The development will require large scale investments in renewable energy, as well as other infrastructure, and is expected to produce 14,000 tones of green hydrogen annually by 2026.
The news follows the announcement earlier in 2022 of the commissioning of the world’s largest solar to hydrogen plant in Spain.
Iberdrola’s Felixstowe venture fits hydrogen’s use-case sweet spot
Iberdrola’s investment in a hydrogen plant at Felixstowe, in collaboration with Hutchison Ports, follows on from its extensive investment in renewable energy in East Anglia. Through its subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables, it is developing the East Anglia hub, comprising three offshore windfarm projects, with a combined generating capacity of 3.1 GW.
Located in the Southern North Sea, the project is expected to be fully operational by 2026, generating enough electricity to power 2.6 million homes. East Anglia One North, Two and THREE will comprise a combined 263 next-generation wind turbines.
Ports provide ideal location for green hydrogen plants
Green hydrogen is being hailed as a vital part of the energy transition plans of one of the highest emitting and hard-to-abate sectors – transport. At the Hydrogen Summit at COP26 ports were identified as ideal candidates for hydrogen valleys, due to their proximity to renewable energy sources.
Hydrogen from the Felixstowe plant could be used to power vehicles and machinery used at the port, as well as trains that transport goods to the port. Further, the plant’s capabilities could be expanded to produce ammonia or ethanol, to be used as clean fuels for maritime transport, or for export to international markets.
Iberdrola green hydrogen ambitions aligned with ‘Fit for 55’ goals
The EU’s ‘Fit for 55’, part of the European Green Deal, aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% across the region by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Iberdrola Group chairman Ignacio Galan has said that the group sees this as a major opportunity, and he is a signatory of the CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal.
The proposed plant at Felixstowe is not Iberdrola’s first planned hydrogen plant in the UK. In fact, as group it is developing 60 hydrogen projects in eight countries, including Brazil, the US, and UK, with a dedicated hydrogen business unit to become leader in the technology. The Iberdrola Group plans to invest €9 billion by 2030, targeting 400,000 tons in production.
An amendment to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) increases the bloc’s renewable energy target from 32% to 40% by 2030, which has opened the doors for much optimism and speculation on developing green hydrogen as a fuel source.
Sub-targets under the amendment for the use of Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs) include 50% for industry and 2.6% for transport, and extends the EU-wide certification for renewable fuels to include green hydrogen, allowing green hydrogen producers to obtain a premium for their product.