THE PORTS OF THE ATLANTIC AREA WILL INVESTIGATE THE USE OF TECHNOLOGIES BASED ON GREEN HYDROGEN FROM MARINE ENERGY AND OTHER RENEWABLE SOURCES

Nov 30, 2023, 1:43:00 PM

THE PORTS OF THE ATLANTIC AREA WILL INVESTIGATE THE USE OF TECHNOLOGIES BASED ON GREEN HYDROGEN FROM MARINE ENERGY AND OTHER RENEWABLE SOURCES

The HYDEA project kicks off with the first consortium meeting at the Port of Vigo. Led by the EnergyLab Technological Center and financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Program 2021-2027, this project will conduct pilot tests for the application of hydrogen and methanol as alternative energy sources in the fleets and vehicles of ports in the Atlantic area (Spain, France, Ireland, and Portugal). The aim is to integrate marine technologies and renewable energy into the maritime sector.

In an effort to be the first region in the world with net-zero emissions by 2050, the European Union has established a plan to lead us toward an ecological transition. The European Green Deal aims to reduce emissions by 50% compared to 1990 levels by 2030, and one area gaining attention for its transformation potential is the maritime sector, acting as a gateway for people, goods, and various modes of transportation. Although ports are better known as points of connection within the maritime transport network, they also serve as multimodal nodes, industrial areas, and commercial sites that play a fundamental role in this decarbonization process.

Ports can act as engines for this energy transition from two perspectives: as drivers of more sustainable port activities and maritime transport, and as links in maritime-port clusters, where they interact with stakeholders in different value chains with common goals and interests. Therefore, Atlantic ports position themselves as an excellent testing ground to apply the results across different sectors, strengthening their competitiveness and decarbonization.

In this context, the HYDEA project emerges to accelerate the development and application of technologies based on the use of green hydrogen as an alternative energy source in various types of fleets and vehicles. This marks a step forward in researching and applying alternatives to current energy sources. Green hydrogen comes from renewable energies with zero CO2 emissions, making it a clean, sustainable fuel with zero pollution—an essential element for the decarbonization of society in general and ports in particular.

The main goal of the project is to evaluate, develop, and promote the use of technologies based on green hydrogen from renewable energies (e.g., marine energy) in ports in the Atlantic Area. This is achieved by accomplishing several specific objectives to address the following challenges:

-      - Promoting a clear role for hydrogen in the strategic energy plans of ports.

-       - Increasing knowledge about various hydrogen production technologies viable for use in ports.

-       - Implementing technological demonstrators that attract investor interest in viable business models.

The HYDEA project consortium, funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area Program 2021-2027, brings together entities from Spain, France, Portugal, and Ireland under the leadership of the EnergyLab Technological Center. It actively involves 4 ports, 1 technological center, 2 universities, and 3 companies: Port Authority of Vigo, Port Authority of Seville, Société Portuaire Brest Bretagne, Administração dos Portos do Douro, Leixões e Viana do Castelo, France Energies Marines, National University of Ireland, Galway, University of Porto, Hive Energy, Évolution Synergétique Automotive S.L., and Energy Observer Developments. Additionally, they will have the support of thirteen associated entities: seven Atlantic port authorities and six clean energy-promoting entities, such as the Galician Hydrogen Association, the Galician Naval Cluster Association, and the Energy Institute of Galicia, among others.

In the case of Galicia, the Port of Vigo will serve as a test platform for the application of technological solutions incorporating methanol and hydrogen in ships and as fuel for vehicles. Methanol will be produced through CO2 hydrogenation, and the feasibility of its use in ships will be assessed. As for hydrogen, it will be tested as fuel for port fleet vehicles. The results obtained will allow the development of instruments for application in different types of ship fleets and vehicles, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and contributing to the mitigation of the impact of climate change.

Furthermore, the creation of the HYDEA Community, coordinated by the Port of Vigo, will integrate stakeholders from the entire hydrogen value chain, including the tertiary sector, universities, industry, and public administration. This Community aims to be an international forum for sharing experiences, best practices, and, in general, spreading the potential of hydrogen for sustainable community development and achieving the decarbonization of society in general and ports in particular.

The HYDEA project is part of the Blue Growth strategy led by the Port of Vigo in its commitment to clean energy. The institution, presided over by Carlos Botana Lagarón, alongside the EnergyLab Technological Center, aims to play a significant role in the development of green energies and their technological application in both the maritime and terrestrial sectors. In line with its environmental and sustainability policy, the Port Authority of Vigo will have a hydrogen vehicle to demonstrate the possibilities offered by green energies.

HYDEA represents a continued advance following the Julio Verne project, enabling the establishment not only of Galicia's first public station for green hydrogen but also the use of this fuel in land, maritime, and industrial mobility.

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