A recent study by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the German Institute for Development and Sustainability, underscores the importance of prioritizing domestic industry in emerging countries like Brazil to drive the development of the low-carbon hydrogen sector.

The study outlines four essential recommendations for governments to consider when formulating policies to foster the growth of the low-carbon hydrogen market. These include prioritizing local utilization over exports, aligning hydrogen chain implementation with the principles of just transition, starting with small to medium-sized projects before scaling up, and implementing production and application sequentially.

With Brazil’s vast renewable energy potential and strategic industrial sectors, the country is poised to play a pivotal role in the global transition to low-carbon hydrogen. The refining and fertilizer industries, traditionally reliant on fossil hydrogen, present immediate opportunities for sustainable alternatives. Moreover, Brazil’s commitment to domestic consumption of green hydrogen is evident in President Lula’s assertion that the nation aims to prioritize its own market over exports.

Petrobras, Brazil’s leading oil company, is at the forefront of hydrogen innovation. Through a cooperation agreement with the Senai Institute of Renewable Energy, Petrobras is investing in the construction of an electrolysis pilot plant to produce renewable hydrogen. This initiative aligns with Petrobras’ goal of evaluating the economic viability of low-carbon hydrogen projects and exploring business models conducive to sustainability.

Brazil’s potential as a hydrogen hub has attracted attention from global energy players. Statkraft, a leading renewable energy company, is evaluating potential investments in Brazil’s hydrogen and biofuels sectors. With plans to replicate successful models from Europe, Statkraft’s interest underscores Brazil’s significance in the global energy transition.

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