The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday, at the proposal of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE) of Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (ERHA), with which intends to mobilize more than 16.3 billion euros of investment.
In the press conference after the Council of Ministers, the third vice president, Teresa Ribera, defended the need to “accelerate the transformation of our system” to “reduce our dependence on abroad” in the face of the “enormous volatility” of energy prices, on the day the wholesale electricity market has hit a new all-time high driven by record gas prices.
This PERTE is the third approved by the Executive. It seeks to develop technology, knowledge, industrial capabilities and new business models that reinforce the country’s leadership position in the field of renewables, to build an energy transition designed and made in Spain “maximizing economic, industrial, labor, and innovation opportunities. and the involvement of citizens and SMEs “, according to the Ecological Transition.
The Ministry estimates that this PERTE, which the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the third vice president plan to present this Wednesday in Moncloa, will allow the creation of more than 280,000 jobs, between direct, indirect and induced in the rest of the economy. The public sector will contribute more than 6,900 million of investment under the Recovery Plan. And the private sector, about 9.5 billion.
The grants will be awarded through competitive calls for applications to select the best projects. The calls will share common selection criteria that will take into account the participation of SMEs, the impact on territorial cohesion or the just transition, job creation or innovation. Short-term investment that is compatible with the achievement of the goals set in the medium and long term will have priority.
The bulk of the help lines and support actions of this PERTE will be available between 2022 and 2023, and the beneficiary projects will run until 2026. Some of the programs are already underway, after passing the public information phase four calls provided in total with more than 500 million for the promotion of the value chain of renewable hydrogen, pioneering projects of renewable hydrogen, R&D projects in energy storage and pilot projects for energy communities.
The element that receives the most support is hydrogen, with 1,555 million, which will mobilize another 2,800 million of private capital. The Executive emphasizes that hydrogen “is a key energy vector to achieve a clean, safe and affordable energy future, because it allows decarbonizing sectors where it is complex to introduce sustainable solutions”, such as heavy transport, the steel industry, cement or the chemical industry. Spain already has a renewable hydrogen roadmap that establishes, among others, the objective of reaching 4 GW of production capacity by 2030, 10% of the EU total.
For renewables, the aid will be 765 million, which will allow channeling another 1,600 million private. The support will focus on unique and innovation projects, and the reinforcement of the manufacturing capacity of equipment and components associated with renewables. Also in the replacement of old wind turbines with new machines – linked to the recycling and treatment of retired equipment – and in the development of biogas from any agricultural activity or waste recovery, as well as its conversion to biomethane.
In addition, and to deploy renewables in inland waters, in line with the Roadmap for the development of offshore wind and offshore energy that the Government has just approved, PERTE ERHA will fund the test platforms at a non-refundable cost. (Spain is the EU country with the most EU R&D facilities for these technologies), it will support pilot projects and pay for the logistics adaptation of port infrastructures.
For electrical infrastructures, promotion of smart grids and deployment of flexibility and storage, PERTE establishes 620 million of support, with the mobilization of another 990 million private. Immature technology storage R&D initiatives will be supported, including commercial pilot projects and industrial research.
New business models will also be promoted – such as demand aggregation or intelligent data management – and the deployment of independent or hybrid storage systems in renewable energy facilities.
The PERTE ERHA also includes 17 “facilitating” measures to which the ministries of Industry, Commerce and Tourism contribute; Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation; Education and Professional Training, and Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, in addition to Ecological Transition. These are measures to generate an environment conducive to materialize this PERTE, such as “training and improvements in the workplace, the deployment of self-consumption in companies that causes a driving effect on the technology value chain, mobility with gas from renewable origin… “.
With a budget allocation of 3,362 million, these additional measures will attract more than 4,000 million of private investment and will generate more than 90,000, according to the Government.
In addition, a seal, called NextGen Energy, is incorporated, which will allow the identification of easily scalable or replicable solutions in other areas of the productive fabric and the economy.
PERTE also reserves a relevant role for the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE). This public body will take shares in companies, UTEs, joint ventures, and will create and promote financial instruments, such as investment funds or participating loans.