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Europe's energy projects stall before the finish line, utilities CEO says

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Portuguese utility company EDP - Energias de Portugal is seen at the company's offices in Oviedo

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Europe suffers from a lack of on the ground execution for subsidisied energy projects which leaves many far from completed, the chief executive of Portugal's largest utility firm Energias de Portugal said to Reuters in Davos.

The European Commission had "great vision" at laying out projects on a higher level, CEO Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade of EDP said, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. "The crux is the national governments transposing them."

D'Andrade honed in on green hydrogen, which Portugal wants to become a major producer and exporter of as countries turn to the cleaner energy source to tackle carbon emissions and improve energy security.

"In the US, if you produce 1 kilo of green hydrogen, you get 3 dollars. In Europe, I need to submit a room full of paper," he said, adding that by the time the EU paperwork is processed "the world has changed."

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The EU wants to produce 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen, made using renewable energy, and import another 10 million by 2030. Its current production via electrolysis is less than 300,000 tonnes.

EDP has started a pilot hydrogen project in Brazil and, together with Portugal's oil & gas firm Galp Energia, plans to launch a hydrogen plant in Sines, south of Lisbon.

But over 90% of its investment between 2022-2026 will be in onshore wind and solar, with the aim of nearly doubling its capacity to 33 gigawatts (GW).

The CEO has previously said the EU's green hydrogen targets - to produce 10 million tonnes by 2030 and import another 10 million - are "inflated and unrealistic", citing slow progress in expanding capacity so far.

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Michael Perry)