A STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILE:

Green Hydrogen

Given its enormous potential in renewable energies, Chile could be one of the most efficient and competitive producers of green hydrogen in the world.

According to estimates from the Ministry of Energy, green hydrogen is expected to contribute with a reduction of emissions between 25% and 27% by 2050.

What is Green Hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is produced from water and renewable energy. It is obtained through electrolysis from renewable sources by breaking down water molecules (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2).

Historically, hydrogen has been obtained using fossil fuels. This separation can also be done with electrical energy or natural gas, but the most environmentally friendly formula is to produce it with solar and wind power.

Reducing the cost of electrolysis is now one of the biggest challenges the world must tackle given the importance of hydrogen in the reduction of emissions.

The H2 molecule has a high energy density per mass unit; it is 3 times larger than gasoline and 120 times larger than lithium batteries.

Green Hydrogen Applications

Mining Sector

Industrial Sector

Agricultural Sector

Export

Green hydrogen is used in fossil fuel refining, in ammonia production, and in the steel industry. New applications are currently being developed, in which hydrogen is burned directly or generates electricity through devices called fuel cells combining hydrogen and oxygen from the air.

In transportation there are vehicles with fuel cells and hydrogen tanks. It can also be used for storage and production of electric and thermal energy; in generating electricity in gas turbines; in industrial processes and metal refining in the production of fertilizers for agriculture and in mining supplies, using green ammonia as a raw material.

Why now?

The limitations on carbon emissions, the reduction of costs associated with electrolysis, and international strategy incentives, all provide for a scenario that accelerates the development of green hydrogen.

Additionally, the reduced costs and renewable energy potential could position Chile among the lowest-cost producers of hydrogen.

Furthermore, the development of this industry is expected to contribute to an eco-friendly, sustainable, and inclusive economic revival.

The government has stated that green hydrogen will be a key element in three areas:

  • Climate Change: It will be essential to meet environmental targets including NDC and carbon neutral targets by 205
  • Social Opportunities: This industry is expected to promote the development of skills and human capital, reduction of local pollution, and the activation of development ecosystem
  • Economic Development: Enabling productive diversification, job creation, and investment hubs in region

This new progress hub for the country will involve – according to estimates – the creation of some 100,000 jobs and US$ 200 billion in investment over the next 20 years.

National Green Hydrogen Strategy

On November 2, at the international conference “Chile 2020: Green Hydrogen Summit”, the government launched the roadmap for green hydrogen, in order to boost the development of this industry in Chile and place the country among the world’s leading producers of this fuel by 2040.

Among its targets, are to produce the cheapest green hydrogen on the planet by 2030 and have 5GW of electrolysis capacity under development by 2025.

The Ministry of Energy seeks to enable these conditions through 4 strategic lines of action:

  • Knowledge transfer and innovation
  • Production, use, and export promotion
  • Regulations and standards
  • Social and territorial development

To develop this strategy, several technical work sessions were set up where over 65 institutions participated all of who provided their visions, contributed to the diagnosis of gaps, and defined the necessary course of actions for Chile to fully develop this industry.

“El hidrógeno verde es una oportunidad estratégica para Chile. Nuestro país es el lugar ideal para producir y exportar hidrógeno verde y sus derivados, incluyendo amoniaco, metanol y combustibles sintéticos. Diversos análisis, incluyendo los de la Agencia Internacional de Energía y de McKinsey&Company, muestran que la enorme riqueza de energías renovables de Chile le permitiría producir el hidrógeno verde más competitivo del planeta y a gran escala”.

Juan Carlos Jobet – Ministro de Energía de Chile.

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