Spain is becoming one of Europe’s new hydrogen hubs, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference in Barcelona on Friday, adding that the country has always been a “leader” in the NextGenerationEU plan.
“This is a watershed moment for Europe and for our future,” von der Leyen said at the Cercle d’Economia awards ceremony in the Catalan capital, EURACTIV partner EFE reported.
“Today I can tell you with certainty that Europe is seizing its moment. We tap into the true power of our union,” she said.
The EU has provided member states with around 100 billion euros in investment to reshape the bloc’s economy under NextGenerationEU, an EU-funded post-pandemic recovery program, the commission chief added. European. “It’s an unprecedented plan with investments and reforms, and this plan can reshape our economy for decades to come,” she said.
“Spain has built a resilient energy system over the years, (…) You are a world leader in clean energy. You have a vibrant and innovative economy,” she said.
Referring to the need for Europe to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, von der Leyen said Spain, and in particular Catalonia, played an important role.
“NextGenerationEU will also contribute to making Catalonia one of the new hydrogen valleys in Europe. This region is the perfect setting for that, (…) you create a complete hydrogen ecosystem,” she said.
“Today Spain is at the heart of Europe,” von der Leyen also said.