International Energy and Environment Trade Fair GENERA 2024

Sánchez guarantees use of all available means to combat the drought and announces 900 million euros in aid for renewable hydrogen projects

President's News - 2024.2.6

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International Trade Fair (IFEMA), Madrid

The President made this clear during the inauguration of the 27th edition of the International Energy and Environment Trade Fair GENERA 2024, held in Madrid, which was also attended by the third vice-president and minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera.

Pedro Sánchez stressed that the fight against climate change has become a "national priority" for public authorities, companies and society, and "certainly" for the Government of Spain, something that requires "immediate action" to tackle the unprecedented drought that is affecting a large part of Spain, particularly the Mediterranean coast.

In this regard, he pointed out that "beyond the distribution of competences, the Government will use all the means at its disposal to combat drought in the territories that are suffering from it". He went on to state that "guaranteeing the water supply, whether in Catalonia or Andalusia, is the most urgent issue; while tackling the causes of the drought is the most important one".

"Contrary to what the negationist discourses irresponsibly proclaim, working towards efficiency in the field of energy and water use is an unavoidable imperative [and] a great opportunity that we cannot let pass us by in terms of well-being, innovation and, of course, economic progress", he added.

Family photo from the International Energy and Environment Trade Fair GENERA 2024 | Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

New impetus for Spain to become a "global benchmark" in renewable hydrogen

During his speech, the chief executive referred to the Government's firm commitment to renewable energies as part of the country's great drive towards ecological transition. In 2018, 400 MW of solar PV and wind power capacity were installed in Spain, and 27,000 MW have been installed in the intervening five years. Thanks to this boost, the energy generated with these clean sources has increased by 40%, doubling the average growth of these sources in the EU.

The President of the Government has advanced a "new boost" to renewable energies to "make Spain a global benchmark in decarbonisation based on renewable hydrogen", with major transformational projects. In this respect, he announced that in the next few weeks the subsidies to Spanish projects will be approved for their participation in the Important Project of Common European Interest of the hydrogen industry (IPCEI).

To this effect, a total of €900 million will finance 10 major projects for the production, transport and development of renewable hydrogen technologies in Andalusia, Asturias, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia and the Basque Country. This commitment to renewable hydrogen, with more than €3.1 billion from the Recovery Plan, will not be limited to the production and export of gas, but the aim is to "attract the entire value chain and reindustrialise our country". He referred to the emerging industry of electrolyser manufacturing, renewable hydrogen production, its application to the decarbonisation of the manufacturing and transport sectors and export to other European countries.

In the last five years, the renewables sector has generated more than 50,000 jobs, and estimates show that it now employs 130,000 people and will employ more than half a million by 2030. For all these reasons, he urged taking advantage of the "extraordinary opportunity for the country" represented by the energy transition to exceed 80% renewable electricity by 2030, as stated in the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan, to accelerate the abandonment of fossil fuels and, with this, strengthen energy autonomy and avoid thousands of deaths due to pollution.

Spain, locomotive of the green revolution and the energy transition

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, during his visit to the International Energy and Environment Fair GENERA 2024 | Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

Spain is already the second country in Europe in terms of installed renewable capacity and a "global leader in energy transition". In fact, our country is the second European country with the highest percentage of electricity from the sun, the seventh country in the world in terms of installed solar power and the fifth in terms of wind power.

Pedro Sánchez has described as "formidable" the progress made in recent years, reaching several milestones in 2023 when more than half of Spain's electricity was generated from renewable sources, and 100% of electricity demand was covered by renewables for several hours. "Spain has cleaner and cheaper energy, contributing to the pockets of Spaniards," he said.

In addition, the volume of CO2 emissions from the electricity sector has been reduced to half of what it was five years ago, and emissions have been avoided that "represent an amount similar to the amount that would be emitted by more than 20 million vehicles in a year". Six wind turbine blade treatment and recovery plants have also been built, representing a new industry that will enable the recycling of 100% of the wind projects that will be dismantled this decade. "Spain is already becoming a locomotive of the green revolution and the energy transition," he concluded.

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), Pedro Sánchez thanked the entity for its generation of knowledge in energy matters, and its role in the preparation of the Recovery Plan and in the design of energy security policies in response to the crisis unleashed after the invasion of Ukraine.

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