Bavarian hydrogen delegation visits Chile and Colombia

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An important component of the Bavarian hydrogen strategy is international partnerships with future suppliers of green hydrogen.

For this reason, a Bavarian hydrogen delegation with representatives from business, research and politics will visit Chile and Colombia from June 20 to 24. Bavaria’s State Secretary for Economic Affairs Roland Weigert will join the delegation in Colombia on June 22 and meet, among others, Energy Minister Diego Mesa in Bogotá.

Weigert: “Green hydrogen is the key resource in the transformation of our economy towards climate neutrality. In Bavaria, we will need large quantities of the climate-friendly energy carrier in the foreseeable future and will not be able to produce it all ourselves despite the expansion of renewable energies. That is why we are visiting Chile and Colombia.

Both countries are pursuing ambitious hydrogen strategies and have impressive potential for the production of green hydrogen. On our trip, we want to get to know strategic technology partners with whom we will work together in the future to ramp up the green hydrogen economy. To this end, we will present Bavarian high-tech solutions for the production, transport and application of green hydrogen and already talk about future imports from Latin America to Germany and Bavaria.”

The focus will also be on networking in research and development. From the scientific community, the board of the Bavarian Hydrogen Center H2.B, Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid, the rector of the TUM Campus Straubing, Prof. Dr. Volker Sieber, and the director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sextl, are among those taking part in the trip. State Secretary Weigert: “We want to bring together leading Bavarian, Chilean and Colombian research institutions and initiate cooperations. In doing so, we are paving the way for subsequent hydrogen projects with industry.”

In Santiago de Chile, Energy Minister Claudio Huepe Minoletti will receive the Bavarian hydrogen delegation, which also includes state parliament members Benjamin Miskowitsch (CSU) and Florian von Brunn (SPD). Also on the agenda is a visit to the Cerro Dominador solar thermal power plant in the Atacama Desert, which will go into operation in 2021. In Colombia, State Secretary for Economic Affairs Roland Weigert will discuss the potential of the hydrogen economy for both countries with Energy Minister Diego Mesa. There will also be an exchange with representatives of the national energy companies Ecopetrol and Grupo Energia Bogotá.

Bavaria and Chile maintain close cooperation in a wide range of areas such as renewable energies and climate protection. Currently, the green hydrogen economy is becoming an increasingly important focus of cooperation. Chile 2020 was the first country in Latin America to present its strategy for green hydrogen. The goal is to produce the world’s cheapest green hydrogen by 2030 and to be one of the largest exporters.

Chile has ideal natural conditions for generating electricity from renewable sources. The Atacama Desert in the north is one of the areas with the strongest solar radiation in the world, and along a coastline of more than 6,000 kilometers, wind occurs with an intensity that in some places is matched only by the sea. A study by the Society for International Cooperation estimates the potential for renewable energy sources at 1,800 gigawatts. That is 75 times more than Chile’s total electricity needs.

Like Chile, Colombia wants to position itself as a pioneer for hydrogen in the region with a series of measures. The basis is the “Hydrogen Roadmap” published in September 2021. The country’s first pilot project was launched in March. State-owned oil company Ecopetrol is producing green hydrogen at its refinery in Cartagena. In addition, Latin America’s fourth-largest oil producer announced plans to focus more on geothermal energy and hydrogen to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. There is great interest in Colombia in close cooperation with international players.

Nedim Husomanovic

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