Will hydrogen increase the light bill? It is a “commitment” of the Portuguese, says Matos Fernandes – ECO

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Creating a hydrogen market in Portugal will require investments of seven billion: 900 million in public support, 40 million in community funds and a lot of private investment.

Portugal wants to position itself on the front line as one of the pioneering countries of the Alliance for Clean Hydrogen that the European Union will present on 8 July, next week. To this end, the Government already has a National Hydrogen Strategy under public consultation, which foresees investments of seven billion euros, of which 900 million will come from the sufferers of the State and 40 million from POSEUR community funds. The rest will be private investment by Portuguese, Dutch and other European countries.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of Environment and Climate Action speaks of a “Commitment that the Portuguese have with their taxes to enhance this type of projects”, ensuring that “hydrogen is key”. And it parallels Portugal’s pioneering spirit in renewables, whose subsidized tariffs in the past are still being paid today via an electricity bill: in electricity production, of 14.76 euros per MWh, which is a world record. All technologies have a period when they need to mature ”.

“From the moment we are able to produce electricity for a record price, we have exceptional conditions to produce very cheap hydrogen ”, said the minister in an interview to ECO / Capital Green via platform online Teams .

In a few years’ time, will we be paying on the electricity bill the Government’s bet on hydrogen, as it happens today with renewables?

What happened in the past with renewables, meant that in the last auction we were able to have the cheapest price ever in electricity production, of 14.76 euros per MWh, which is a world record. All technologies have a period when they need to mature. Of the seven billion euros of investment in the National Hydrogen Strategy, they are split in half between a set of small projects, which make up 1GW by 2030, and another large project in Sines, with more 1GW. When there is big innovation and disruption, there has to be public support. We will launch in POSEUR – Operational Program Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources a warning of 40 million euros from community funds, which will be an addition to the commitment that the Portuguese have with their taxes to enhance this type of projects.

I have heard some bullshit gurus who have yet to recognize that 15 euros per MWh is less than the 45 euros that Mibel charges for the production of MWh of electricity in the Iberian Peninsula. It is difficult to convince anyone who does not want to be convinced. Hydrogen is essential, the production of green hydrogen in Portugal may have a price that it will not have in any European country, because sea water is not expensive. From the moment we are able to produce electricity at this record price, we have exceptional conditions to produce hydrogen very cheaply.

Hydrogen will have private investment, it will have public support and community funds. And will it weigh on electricity tariffs in the future?

The expectation we have is this: of the seven billion investment, 900 million will be public support. Just as there is public support via community funds (which are now all reimbursable) for industrial investments, public support will also come for the creation of a very important cluster which is fundamental to our decarbonisation. It is quite normal for this to be the case.

“When there is a big innovation and a disruption, there has to be public support. We will launch in POSEUR in the Use of Resources a warning of 40 million euros of community funds, which will be an addition to the commitment that the Portuguese have with their taxes to enhance these types of projects. ”

Matos Fernandes

Minister for the Environment and Climate Action

How do you react when Iberdrola, the company that won the most lots in 2019 auctions, points the record price as too low?

If the price was that, it is because Iberdrola bid it that way. The price was set by the companies and not the government. We have nothing to do with it. We held an open auction, which did not have a single complaint, with a complex algorithm that compared fixed rates with market prices, which is where Iberdrola won. Because there was competition, it led to this. I was surprised that we have broken a world record. But the values ​​that surprised me the most was that there were companies like Iberdrola giving 25/26 euros to the system for each MW produced. But it was the accounts that were made at the time and as far as we know, Iberdrola remains very committed to putting its projects up on time. Now come and say it was too much? You can only complain about yourself.

Will holding just one auction in 2020 delay the national solar strategy?

This year we will only have an auction, we will try to compensate next year. The auction will take place on August 24th and 25th. With regard to the parks in the first auction, the delay in investment goes on average in one to two months, which is normal and has no relevance in 15-year projects. Curiosity, the search for us webinars This auction’s launch date surpassed that of the previous auction. We are known the world over for holding auctions that are said to be the best. This year there is yet another variable, which is storage, which is very important to guarantee the reliable supply of a system that is based on renewable energies. This hypothesis C of the auction – solar with storage, being neutral according to the chosen technology – in which we will pay not a value of production but of storage. It is insurance that we have there. Whenever we need energy from renewable sources in the system, we will have a contract value that is lower than the market value so that we can inject this electricity into the system.

He guaranteed that the TAP support plan will have “environmental criteria”. Are they already defined? Which are they

As for the environmental criteria for TAP’s recovery plan, we did our job and I will not be the one to reveal them. This is up to whoever is doing the negotiation. About exist a tax associated with aircraft fuel, can never be dissociated from what the EU as a whole does. The time to discuss it is not now, but in view of the next OState budget.

I have heard some bullshit gurus who have yet to recognize that 15 euros per MWh is less than the 45 euros that Mibel charges for the production of MWh of electricity in the Iberian Peninsula.

Matos Fernandes

Minister for the Environment and Climate Action

The Supplementary Budget goes to votes on Friday. Do you expect quiet approval?

It seems very clear to me that, and the parties have already said this when they voted for approval in general, that this is a fundamental budget for the country to have the necessary financial tools to be able to respond to this emergency. I believe in the responsibility that parties with a seat in the Assembly have to get this plan approved.

Would you like to see more money for the Environment in this Supplementary Budget?

You never heard me complain about a lack of money to invest. The Environmental Fund is a very powerful way to make these investments. How many ministries have managed to increase their budget in four years? None. THE that we feel was essential, and we don’t have the money for it, are the 94 million euros of support for public transport companies, public and private, to make up for the difference that exists, and will continue to exist until the end of the year, between demand and offer. We have an estimated supply of 90% of all companies, for a demand that does not exceed 60. This difference costs 94 million euros, is in the Supplementary Budget and is fundamental for our sector.



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