Energy Transition – An evolving journey

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Read time: 6.5 minutes

Today, no international market exists for pure green hydrogen. However, Latin America may play a prominent role in developing such a green market. Latin America is one of the geographic regions with the most renewable energy potential to help produce green hydrogen and achieve a future with net-zero emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently produced a report on the potential of low-carbon hydrogen in Latin America, stating that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay are preparing national hydrogen strategies. The report also provided a list of low-carbon projects in development in the region.

作者: Karim Alhassan

Hydrogen has become a familiar term. It is the most common element in the world, and it has tremendous potential as a clean energy source. Hydrogen even makes up around 10 percent of the human body by mass. It is always adhered to other molecules, like oxygen (as it is in water).

Hydrogen does not emit carbon dioxide (CO2) when used by the end user; however, the production process, with the exception of green hydrogen and pink hydrogen, does produce CO2.

All countries in Latin America will need to decarbonize their transportation to be able to meet their clean energy objectives. Since 2008, there have been several low-carbon pilot projects in Argentina, Chile, and Costa Rica. In Chile, using green hydrogen rather than diesel for copper production will also have a very positive impact in terms of greenhouse gas reduction.

Types of hydrogen

  1. Green hydrogen is produced using mainly solar and wind energy, resulting in no greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Blue hydrogen is produced using natural gas and steam.
  3. Black and brown hydrogen are produced using coal.
  4. Yellow hydrogen is produced exclusively using solar energy.
  5. Turquoise hydrogen is produced using methane pyrolysis.
  6. White hydrogen occurs naturally in underground deposits (there are currently no strategies to exploit this type hydrogen).
  7. Pink hydrogen is produced using nuclear energy.

These color codes are used by the energy industry to differentiate between the types of hydrogen produced.

Key takeaways
  • Hydrogen use does not emit CO2, but most methods of producing it do
  • Latin American countries are making a concerted effort to produce green hydrogen
  • Natural gas supply is becoming precarious, which may increase reliance on hydrogen