Solar provides fertile ground for ‘green’ hydrogen chemical plant Clean production of the gas promises valuable role in decarbonising energy — if costs can be brought down The fertiliser plant owned by Fertiberia, in Puertollano, Spain, which will use ‘green’ hydrogen produced by solar power

In the town of Puertollano in southern Spain, a factory with a large smokestack is about to make history: it will be one of the first commercial facilities in the world to use solar power-produced hydrogen to make fertiliser.  Hydrogen is at the centre of the debate about how to decarbonise energy systems and a growing number of companies are investing in its production as they test out alternatives to fossil fuels.  The project in Puertollano is an example of one of the most promising use cases for hydrogen — taking the power from solar or wind farms and using it to create hydrogen out of water.  The region’s sunny weather makes it ideal: a nearby solar plant, currently under construction, will provide the electricity needed to make the hydrogen, which will then be used by the factory to make ammonia fertiliser.  “We wanted to start with this site to jump-start the project, to make it real,” explains Agustín Delgado, head of innovation at Iberdrola, the Spanish utility that is building the €150m project. “You have heard about many hydrogen projects, but not too many of them are real,” he adds. Inside the plant at Puertollano, Spain where conventionally produced fertiliser is now stored

Read the full article in the Financial Times, 15th July 2020