Spain to channel $1.8 bln in EU rescue funds to 'green' hydrogen

MADRID, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Spain will spend 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) from a European economic recovery fund over the next three years in developing “green” hydrogen production, which will use renewable power, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday.

With its sunny plains, windy hillsides and gas infrastructure, Spain is keen to lead production of hydrogen using renewable resources, a process seen as key to meeting carbon emissions targets provided costs can be brought down.

Hydrogen, which is now mostly produced from fossil fuels, can be made from water using electrolysis but the process is expensive and only avoids emissions if renewable power is used.

Madrid has set a target to encourage 8.9 billion euros ($10.5 billion) of investment, mainly from the private sector, to build electrolysers with a total 4 gigawatt capacity by 2030.

This would give Spain 10% of the EU’s hydrogen production target.

Spanish energy firm Iberdrola has applied for EU funds to expand a project spanning two sites in Spain it says will need investment worth 1.8 billion euros and could create 4,000 jobs.

Energy Minister Teresa Ribera called on Thursday for people working in green hydrogen supply chain, from researchers to potential end users, to submit details of their projects.

$1 = 0.8445 euros Reporting by Isla Binnie, Editing by Inti Landauro