60 organizations demand the withdrawal from the list of Projects of Common Interest

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Almost 60 organizations demand the withdrawal from the list of Projects of Common Interest: “Its approval will aggravate the climate crisis”
  • Organizations at European and state level demand a list of projects of common interest (PCI) and of Mutual Interest (PMI) “in accordance with climate objectives and our true common interest.”
  • The Gas No Es Solution network, of which Ecologistas en Acción is a part, criticizes that the hydrogen export model based on large infrastructures such as H2MED can put at risk the fair energy transition of the Spanish State.
  • They also demand that the manager of the future hydrogen network be totally independent and public, to avoid conflicts of interest with fossil industries.

The final approval process of the sixth list of Projects of Common European Interest (PCI) and of Mutual Interest (PMI) – which includes cross-border projects for the international transport of hydrogen, such as H2MED and other hydrogen corridors – continues his course. The list was published by the European Commission on November 28 and is currently being voted on in the Council and the European Parliament for final approval.

This list of projects is not going unnoticed and is raising controversy both in the Spanish State and at the European level. Precisely, the European Green Party has come to present a comprehensive objection that will be voted on at the next meeting of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament (ITRE) that will take place on Thursday, February 22. A preliminary step ahead of the March plenary session

To support this comprehensive objection, the Gas No Es Solution network, of which Ecologistas en Acción is a part, has joined 59 other organizations at European and state level to “demand a list in line with climate objectives and our true common interest.” . As mentioned in a letter sent to the European Parliament, ”The list includes a high number of problematic projects, mostly proposed by the fossil fuel industry, which risk reducing ambition and existing emissions reduction efforts. , to undermine the much-needed and urgent just transition and to become stranded assets. The list should only include projects whose implementation will contribute to stopping the climate crisis.”

According to the letter, the PCI list includes large-scale hydrogen transport projects that lack an adequate environmental and climate impact assessment, the supply and priority use of hydrogen, numerous CO2 transport and Capture projects. and Large-scale Carbon Storage. Finally, two fossil gas pipelines: the EastMed from Cyprus and the Melita TransGas from Malta.

Las críticas de la red Gas No Es Solución se centran específicamente, en los proyectos relacionados con el transporte de hidrógeno en el ámbito geográfico español: el H2MED y la red troncal de hidrógeno. La red considera que son proyectos que “corren el riesgo de quedar sobredimensionados y de no responder a las necesidades de la transición energética”. Enagás los presentó en la lista PCI/PMI antes de realizar su “Call for Interest”, un primer test de mercado que se realizó con el objetivo de llevar a cabo un análisis contrastado del potencial mercado del hidrógeno renovable en España para definir una propuesta adaptada de infraestructuras de la futura Red Troncal Española de Hidrógeno. El resultado de la “Call for Interest” se publicó el 31 de enero de 2024.

Given the appointment of Enagás as provisional manager of the hydrogen backbone network, the organizations consider that “the manager of the future hydrogen network would have to be totally independent – and if possible public or under social control – to avoid any conflict of interest. with fossil fuel industries in modeling and planning processes.”

“We are concerned that the development of hydrogen transport infrastructure is based on a market bubble and on the analyzes and projections of a private company, as was done with the gas system, ending with a completely oversized system at the cost of increasing consumer bills. We urge the Government of Spain to carry out adequate planning and sizing, focused on the real needs of the ecosocial transition in the Spanish State,” they claim from Gas No Es Solution.

Regarding the impacts, the network states that “the collateral impacts of the massive production of hydrogen for export must be taken into account.” The National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), currently under review, contemplates the installation of 11 GW of electrolyzers, which almost triples the proposal of the government's 2020 green hydrogen roadmap. The scenario called “base” by Enagás contemplates the installation of 13.4GW of electrolyzers, to produce 1.6 million tons of H2 in 2030, "in that scenario we would be talking about installing approximately between 40 and 60 GW of additional renewable energies" according to an estimated analysis carried out by the network Gas Is Not a Solution.

However, the network highlights that “the scenarios for 2030 and 2040 are especially alarming, both the “maximum potential” and the so-called “Call for interest” due to the impact that the development of between approximately 70 GW and 300 GW of additional energy could have. renewable energy, an order of magnitude that would far exceed the PNIEC objectives under review for 2030. More so, if possible, knowing that great tension is already occurring in the territories to which it is not responding adequately.

Faced with the model of large infrastructures for the export of hydrogen, the network proposes the analysis of a proximity model, in which ad hoc production is prioritized, taking advantage of moments of low electricity demand, to avoid high discharges of renewables during central hours. of the day and small networks that allow the local industrial ecosystem to be promoted. "We cannot replicate the large infrastructure model that has brought us here, to achieve a fair energy transition with a local vision, we must overcome the idea of the mere replacement of fossil energy sources to maintain the same level of production and consumption".

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