Chile is on the path to a greener future. It is giving away $50 million in subsidies to projects that focus on the use of so-called green hydrogen.
The country is one of the world’s leading sources of copper. So called ‘Green hydrogen’ is produced by electrolysis of water to produce the gas – and the electricity utilised is generated for renewable sources (like wind and solar).
Local media reported that the Energy and Mining Ministry is in the process of identifying about 40 projects in industries like mining and infrastructure and has received a good deal interest from local and international partners.
The Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet reportedly told local media that the money would be handed to credible partners sometime this year.
Media reports quoted him as saying: “We’ve seen a lot of traction in green hydrogen. The main purpose there is to scale up production, to reduce the cost of electrolysis, which is the biggest challenge there.”
Amid investor concern, Chile is taking steps toward becoming a country that has a smaller carbon footprint. Mining companies who switch to producing hydrogen through solar and wind power will be welcomed, analysts believe. Both the sun and wind are in abundance in Chile.
This would be of interest to local energy producers and international suppliers of hydrogen. It is known that Anglo American has plans to set up a pilot fuel-cell plant in its mines in Chile. Antofagasta Plc is another company that has ambitions of deploying hydrogen trucks on site.
There are reports that the use of hydrogen won’t just be limited to the mining sector. Hydrogen power will be used in trains, to power other machines as well. Experts believe that the widespread use of hydrogen can lower the cost of the gas.
The government in Chile is also setting up a team that will work together with the ministry of finance to position hydrogen as one of the main alternatives to fossil fuels in Chile.