South America’s hydrogen potential

According to recent research, as governments in the area step up their preparations for the energy transition, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil are leading the race to create clean hydrogen in the region.

A multitude of renewable energy resources provides the area a competitive edge to serve both domestic and international markets, according to the Hydrogen in Latin America research, which was issued by London-based Green Power Global.

“While other nations are testing the waters with tiny pilot projects, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil are already positioned themselves to take advantage of the hydrogen era and create enough low-carbon fuels, gases, and other hydrogen carriers for internal consumption and exports,” it stated.

Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados were included as other nations with potential hydrogen development plans in the 26-page report.

The Haru Oni and Quintero Bay initiatives in Chile, Ecopetrol’s 50kW electrolyzer pilot at the Cartagena refinery in Colombia, the Tambor green hydrogen hub in Uruguay, and the Base One green hydrogen plant in Brazil are a few of the noteworthy projects featured in the paper.

Demand

The paper also highlighted the demand-side advantages of investments in clean hydrogen in Latin America.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that in 2019, the industrial and oil refining sectors in Latin America utilized around 4Mt of hydrogen or about 5% of the world’s consumption.

The paper stated that having built-in industrial demand would undoubtedly be a benefit for these nations as project sponsors assess the regulations, incentives, and prospects in each of them and the growth of the low-carbon hydrogen economy.

Opportunities will still exist in countries without significant industrial and mining hubs, though, since those countries will also need to look to hydrogen, albeit for applications like heavy-duty transportation, shipping, and aviation.