Portugal announces 7-bln-euro investment plan for hydrogen energy over next decade

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LISBON, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese government on Thursday announced a plan to invest 7 billion euros (7.67 billion U.S. dollars) to increase hydrogen-based power generation over the next 10 years.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes told reporters after a meeting of Council of Ministers that the objective is to renew Portugal's energy matrix.

The Council of Ministers on Thursday approved the "National Energy and Climate Plan 2030" and the "National Hydrogen Strategy" (EN-H2).

Among the projects and initiatives, one of highlights is the construction of a "green energy" production unit in the city of Sines with an investment of more than 2.85 billion euros (3.12 billion U.S. dollars).

With these measures, the government plans to gradually introduce "hydrogen as a sustainable pillar of the transition to a decarbonized economy."

The goal for 2030 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 45 percent and 55 percent, preserving more forests, taking care of rural areas and reducing large fires.

Fernandes pointed out that Portugal managed to reduce the emissions by 21 percent by 2018, and just last year there was a reduction of 8.5 percent, higher than the European Union average.

"The current context of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 reinforces the need for Portugal to fulfill its objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050," said Fernandes.

According to the minister, "the creation of new business models and the relaunch of the economy opens up new opportunities for economic and industrial development," in addition to creating more jobs in the country. Enditem

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