Power struggle: Spain issues warning to France over electricity use

european environment ministers discuss energy in Malta

The Spanish Environment Minister was in Malta for the MED9 Summit. Photo credit: Teresa Ribera (via Twitter)

IN an escalating disagreement over hydrogen production methods, Spain has issued a stern warning to France over its electricity exports. 

While Spain has been exporting excess electricity to its neighbour to support their domestic needs, it refuses to continue doing so if the electricity is going to be used for generating nuclear-based hydrogen, also known as “pink hydrogen”.

Spain champions renewable green hydrogen derived from sources like wind and solar power, and rejects classifying nuclear hydrogen as green.

France has been successful in advocating for nuclear-based hydrogen, even allowing it to be transported through the Barcelona-Marseille submarine cable as part of the H2Med project. Spain, however, firmly believes that only hydrogen derived from renewable sources should be considered truly green.

Vice President and Environment Minister Teresa Ribera emphasised Spain’s position during a meeting in Malta with Mediterranean EU countries on Thursday, May 18. She stressed the importance of transitioning to green hydrogen and investing in offshore wind and solar parks.

Spain has become a major exporter of electricity to France due to the latter’s nuclear plant shutdowns and geopolitical energy disputes.

This clash highlights the growing divide between Spain’s focus on renewable energy and electricity and France’s willingness to embrace nuclear power for hydrogen production.

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