Global energy and electricity provider Iberdrola announced the creation of a new green hydrogen-focused business unit, aiming to position the company as a leader in the emerging technology.

Hydrogen has long been seen as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, given its ability to act both as a clean energy carrier and fuel, as well as a CO2-neutral feedstock for the production of green chemicals. Despite being the most abundant element in the universe, however, there are no pure hydrogen deposits on earth, and it must be extracted from other materials. The extraction process often creates pollutants and GHG emissions. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, uses an electrolysis process to extract hydrogen from water, using a renewable source of energy such as wind or solar, with oxygen released as a byproduct.

Iberdrola has already been active this year in its green hydrogen development efforts. The company recently announced its participation in the ‘Green Hydrogen for project, through its subsidiary ScottishPower, and in July, the company began working with fertilizer company Fertiberia to construct a green hydrogen plant for industrial use in Europe, with an initial investment of €150 million.

The new initiative was announced by Iberdrola Chairman and CEO Ignacio Galán at New York Climate Week. Speaking in a Private Sector Forum organized by the United Nations Global Compact, Galán said:

“I only know one way to overcome the crisis: to invest more in forward-looking industries and become more productive and efficient. The recovery plans announced in Europe and the rest of the world have two clear priorities: the ‘green deal’ and digitalization. But we have to accelerate them.”

Galán also highlighted the €110 billion investments made by Iberdrola since 2001 in renewable energy, networks and storage, and the opportunities that the energy transition creates in terms of jobs and the transformation of traditional sectors of the economy.

In addition, he stated that the company has this year decided to step up investments to €10 billion, twice the average invested in recent years.

Galán said:

“Transformations such as the one being led by Iberdrola for over 20 years now are going to be more necessary than ever in the coming years to rebuild our economies. And the United Nations has a unique capacity to drive these movements by joining forces to address global problems.”