The green hydrogen project goes from controversy to controversy. The first was the heated discussion among energy experts. Then it was the turn of the political debate, with the leader of the PSD who directly questioned the premier on the subject and was reprimanded by the Minister of the Environment. This Thursday another one arrived. Saturday magazine reported that a judicial investigation is also underway which will be triggered by a complaint received in 2019.
The stakes will be suspected of various economic crimes, such as corruption and the trafficking of influences, in an investigation that – writes the magazine – involves political decision makers such as the deputy minister of the economy and economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, and the secretary of state for energy, João Galamba. who was the main face of the government for the green hydrogen strategy.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed only “the existence of an investigation to be carried out under the terms of the DCIAP (Central Department of Investigations and Prosecutions)”, adding that it is under investigation, without the establishment of defendants. He also pointed out that it is a secret of justice. The two leaders said they were unaware of any investigation. Both have already said they will file a criminal complaint.
The Minister of Economy and António Costa’s deputy announced that he had filed a criminal complaint for “slanderous complaint” to the PGR and João Galamba also said he intends to do the same. “Without approval, no contract, no financing and, consequently, no payment, the content of the complaint reported since Saturday is inexplicable,” said the environment ministry.
Siza Vieira filed a criminal complaint with the PGR for “defamatory complaint” in the green hydrogen trial
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Action informs that the Secretary of State for Energy “will also transmit to the Attorney General his full availability to provide the necessary clarifications in the context of the process reported by the Saturday magazine and that intends to file a complaint – crime against slanderous complaints “.
The Ministry of the Environment clarifies that the Hydrogen Strategy, approved by the Council of Ministers on July 30, is public and, within its scope, an expression of interest was opened on June 18, 2020. Through this consultation mechanism with the 74 projects were presented to the market which, after the evaluation of the Project Admission Committee (which has the technical support of the General Direction of Energy and Geology and of the National Laboratory of Energy and Geology), was reduced to 37.
The consortium formed by EDP, REN and GALP, Vestas and Martifer presented a project within this market consultation tool, which was positively appreciated by the jury, having moved on to the second phase. “However, none of the projects presented in this call have been approved or funded. The expression of interest had (and has) the objective of submitting an application for important projects of common European interest, an instrument that allows national industrial projects to benefit from European funds “.
The national green hydrogen strategy had been in preparation last year and was approved this summer, indicating one of the fundamental paths towards the goal of energy decarbonisation. The hydrogen produced by the use of renewable sources (solar energy) allows to replace the fossil fuels used in industry such as natural gas (or non-green hydrogen) and can also enter the freight transport sector.
What it is, how it works and why it is controversial. 9 answers to explain green hydrogen
The strategy has as its objectives:
- An investment of seven billion euros
- The target of representing 5% of final energy consumption in 2030
- The reduction of natural gas imports between 380 and 740 million euros
- The creation of 8,500 to 12,000 new jobs, direct and indirect