Chile’s green hydrogen plans are garnering interest among other Latin American countries with huge renewable energy potential. Colombia’s President Duque has already met with Chile’s President Piñera to discuss bilateral cooperation for emission-free fuel investments. We also understand that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) remains engaged following the Mission of Energy Transformation of Colombia in 2019.
Sounds great, but is this just greenwash or can the two countries lead Latin America to a green hydrogen future?
Colombia plans to publish a green hydrogen roadmap in the first quarter of the year and apparently has two or three large projects in mind to kickstart the initiative. The political focus at present is laying the groundwork to improve the investment environment for green hydrogen in addition to offshore wind energy and battery storage.
A senior executive in the electricity industry explains, “There is a draft bill that contemplates the regulation of green hydrogen so that it can become a fuel of renewable origin. This would enable producers to access tax incentives under Chapter 3 of Law 1715 of 2014. The bill proposes that the Ministry of Mines and Energy will develop the necessary regulations for the promotion of hydrogen generation and storage.”
“There is a draft bill that contemplates the regulation of green hydrogen so that it can become a fuel of renewable origin.”
Senior executive, electricity industry, Colombia
An expert consultant advising the Colombia government cautions that there is still a long way to go, “Regulation is the first essential step. Although Chile and Colombia are in talks, Colombia has to lay the foundations for any future collaboration first. This will take time as the initial stages are being managed by the IDB, but then the government will review the results, analyse them and any decision isn’t expected until the second half of 2021.”
“Regulation is the first essential step. Although Chile and Colombia are in talks, Colombia has to lay the foundations for any future collaboration first.”
Energy advisor to the Colombian government, Colombia
A former senior politician responsible for energy policy in Colombia also emphasizes the early stage of this initiative and the number of stakeholders still to be consulted prior to regulation, “The unions and the private sector are very interested in hydrogen in general, not just green hydrogen, they want to explore blue and brown hydrogen too. Technically, there are a series of workshops in the first half of the year with Norwegian and Chilean experts and the UPME (Mining and Energy Planning Unit, part of the Ministry of Mines and Energy) and Ministry of Sciences are evaluating the transition to a hydrogen economy. All of this will inform how hydrogen can be incorporated into the framework of Law 1715.”