Chile’s Energy Minister Promotes Green Hydrogen Strategy at Columbia Event

November 27, 2020

Chile’s Minister of Energy, Juan Carlos Jobet, presented the country’s strategic plan to become an important player in the nascent green hydrogen market.  

Taking advantage of Chile’s abundant solar and wind power, the country aims to be able to produce green hydrogen at US$ 1.5 per kilogram by 2030, which would make it the lowest cost worldwide, Jobet said during the “Demystifying Green Hydrogen” event, sponsored by the Santiago Center and the Columbia | SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy whose executive director, Laurie Fitzmaurice, moderated the event. Use this link to see the video of the entire webinar.

Calling green hydrogen the “Swiss Army knife of deep decarbonization,” Julio S. Friedmann, Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy, said that currently, cost is indeed a main challenge. Whereas blue hydrogen can be produced at around US$ 1.2-1.8 per kilogram, green hydrogen runs US$ 3-8 per kilogram.

In turn, Eric Guter, General Manager – Americas Growth Platforms at Air Products and Chemicals, said that establishing a regulatory framework and setting international standards were key for the development and use of green hydrogen. “Hydrogen is a great, bright star that will help us to decarbonize,” he noted.

Green hydrogen is made using electricity from renewable energy to electrolyze water, separating the hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It is a clean alternative to fossil fuels that, unlike traditional renewables like solar and wind energy, can be stored and used at any time of day. It also may be the only way to bring greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector to the equivalent of zero, considering several countries’ commitments to carbon neutrality over the next 20-40 years. As the impacts of climate change become more visible around the world, green hydrogen is a promising clean energy alternative, and the total hydrogen market is expected to be worth $2.5 trillion by 2050.