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Exploring the Potential of Green Hydrogen Production and Application in the Antofagasta Region of Chile


Green hydrogen is gaining increasing attention as a key component of the global energy transition towards a more sustainable industry. Chile, with its vast renewable energy potential, is well positioned to become a major producer and exporter of green hydrogen. In this context, this paper explores the prospects for green hydrogen production and use in Chile. The perspectives presented in this study are primarily based on a compilation of government reports and data from the scientific literature, which primarily offer a theoretical perspective on the efficiency and cost of hydrogen production. To address the need for experimental data, an ongoing experimental project was initiated in March 2023. This project aims to assess the efficiency of hydrogen production and consumption in the Atacama Desert through the deployment of a mobile on-site laboratory for hydrogen generation. The facility is mainly composed by solar panels, electrolyzers, fuel cells, and a battery bank, and it moves through the Atacama Desert in Chile at different altitudes, from the sea level, to measure the efficiency of hydrogen generation through the energy approach. The challenges and opportunities in Chile for developing a robust green hydrogen economy are also analyzed. According to the results, Chile has remarkable renewable energy resources, particularly in solar and wind power, that could be harnessed to produce green hydrogen. Chile has also established a supportive policy framework that promotes the development of renewable energy and the adoption of green hydrogen technologies. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed, such as the high capital costs of green hydrogen production and the need for supportive infrastructure. Despite these challenges, we argue that Chile has the potential to become a leading producer and exporter of green hydrogen or derivatives such as ammonia or methanol. The country’s strategic location, political stability, and strong commitment to renewable energy provide a favorable environment for the development of a green hydrogen industry. The growing demand for clean energy and the increasing interest in decarbonization present significant opportunities for Chile to capitalize on its renewable energy resources and become a major player in the global green hydrogen market.

Funding source: We acknowledge financial support from for Gobierno Regional de Antofagasta and FIC-R project código BIP: 40033431-0. CICITEM is supported by the Gobierno regional de Antofagasta. ICN2 is supported by the Severo Ochoa program from the Spanish Research Agency (AEI, grant no. SEV-2017-0706) and by the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Chile ; Spain

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