- The head of the Catalan executive this morning opened the UPC’s Hydrogen Laboratory and pilot green hydrogen production plant
event_note Press Release
During the opening this morning of the Hydrogen Laboratory and pilot green hydrogen production plant at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-Barcelona Tech (UPC), the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pere Aragonès, said that the reindustrialisation of Catalonia “must go hand in hand with a new energy model, in which green hydrogen has a key role to play”. The President stressed that the Catalan Government is focusing “efforts, resources and alliances” on this reindustrialisation model, and its priorities include the “transfer of knowledge from universities and research centres to the productive economy”.
Aragonès highlighted that the UPC hydrogen laboratory is a piece of “cutting-edge infrastructure”, which is unique in Spain and one of the first to be commissioned in Europe. “It will make a decisive contribution to the development of Catalonia’s entire green hydrogen ecosystem, and it will do so with this transfer of knowledge to industry, which will enable the creation of new opportunities, increase productivity and prepare our production system for the challenges of the future,” he said.
Along with the research and knowledge system and support for industry and companies in this transition, the president included “international alliances”,as a third cornerstone for strengthening the green hydrogen ecosystem. “In Europe, in the Mediterranean and in the world as a whole, trade, the energy market and energy management are driving forces behind political and economic decisions today, and have a major environmental and demographic impact on the entire planet, and Catalonia must therefore define its position,” he said.
In order to achieve this positioning, the President pointed to partnerships like the one the Catalan Government has in place with the executive of the German region of Baden-Württemberg, and projects like the Green Hydrogen Bank and the gas pipeline that will transport hydrogen from Barcelona to Marseilles. “Changes need to be made in the medium term and we can play a fundamental role, and act as a conduit,” he declared.
In terms of jobs, Aragonès recalled that in the various stages of today’s green hydrogen value chain, “there are now 140 companies working in Catalonia, generating more than 1,300 jobs”. “We have enormous potential and we must continue to invest in it,” the president said, while stressing that this investment must be “in Besòs”, an area that “has been overlooked for too long” and which “we must turn into a hub of prosperity”.
The UPC Hydrogen Laboratory, located on the third floor of building C of the Diagonal-Besòs Campus, is a piece of cutting-edge infrastructure in Europe. Covering an area of 340 square metres, it will provide technical support and perform durability testing for industry, develop new hydrogen-based technologies, and showcase hydrogen technology for business and academia.
The hydrogen and electricity used in the laboratory are produced locally, sustainably and on a modular basis, by the pilot hydrogen production plant installed on the rooftop of the same building.
This Laboratory and the pilot plant were constructed through a grant awarded by the Catalan Ministry of Research and Universities.