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Hydrogen revolution: Has Latin America’s energy future already arrived?

The rapidly falling cost of hydrogen has meant Latin America must accelerate plans to integrate the low-carbon fuel in its energy mix, or risk being left behind, a regional energy summit heard on Thursday.

Daniel Umaña, the CEO of Colombian energy firm Due Capital, said hydrogen can already be an ultra-competitive option to store, move and deliver energy.

“If we manage all elements of the value chain we can have hydrogen, not at US$8 or US$10 per kilogram, but under US$3 per kilogram,” Umaña said during Vostock Capital’s Renewables Latin America Congress and Exhibition in Medellín, Colombia.

“That means the transition is not only something for the future but for the present. The time to act is now.”

ALSO READ: How green hydrogen costs may play out in Peru

A report released by the European Commission in July last year estimated the cost of producing green hydrogen from renewable resources at US$3.00-6.55/kg.

Blue hydrogen, which utilizes fossil fuels with carbon capture technologies that prevent the release of carbon dioxide, had a cost of US$2.40/kg.

Those values are expected to fall considerably in the coming years. Norwegian firm Nel ASA has set a target to produce green hydrogen at US$1.50/kg by 2025 while Malaysian oil company Petronas says it can reduce the cost to under US$2/kg.

ALSO READ: Colombia readies 3 hydrogen pilots, eyes US$5.5bn investments

Umaña urged Latin American and Caribbean countries to take steps to lower the levelized cost of hydrogen. One of the keys to achieving this, he says, is to invest in digitization to ensure the efficiency and operational quality of hydrogen initiatives.

Enrique Rosselot, a senior manager at Chilean energy solutions firm Imelsa, said hydrogen is an increasingly attractive alternative to lithium-ion batteries for holding energy.

“Hydrogen is transforming the industry because it can be used as a power storage intermediary,” Rosselot said during the conference.

ALSO READ: Uruguay marine green hydrogen plans advance

Another key topic of conversation during the summit was how energy project owners are overcoming financing and social challenges.

Edgar Pérez, the technical manager of Bogotá-based San Martin Energy Green, bemoaned a lack of risk capital for developers, particularly in the pre-construction phase.

“In Colombia, we have hundreds of projects but there is not enough money to finish them,” Pérez said. “You have to go out and look for it [funding] and that’s not easy. Many developers say a particular project sounds good but the idea often ends there.”

ALSO READ: How Latin American green hydrogen could become ‘very competitive’

María José Cortés, the head of environmental, social and corporate governance at Atlas Renewable Energy, underlined the need for companies to better engage with local communities.

“The onus is on companies to contribute to the long-term wellbeing of the communities in those areas, some of which have to live with a project for 30 years,” Cortés said.


Congreso de Energías Renovables América Latina 2021

Margarita María Chacón
Abogado. Especialista en Derecho de Transporte

Este año, el Congreso de Energías Renovables América Latina 2021 se desarrolló en la ciudad de Medellín-Colombia los días 6 y 7 de octubre, organizado por la empresa VostockCapital, los temas desarrollados y más destacados fueron, el bajo impacto ambiental, bajar los costos de producción para que puedan convertirse en alternativas viables y el abastecimiento de lugares aislados.

Desde hace varios años a nivel mundial se han estado implementando políticas dentro de los países para promover el uso de las energías renovables, para nuestro caso en Colombia este aspecto, se encuentra dentro los propósitos del Gobierno Nacional, dados los compromisos a nivel ambiental que debemos cumplir como nación, nuestro país ha avanzado gradualmente sobre ello.

Evento que conto con varios ejecutivos de empresas y operadores emblemáticos de América Latina junto con funcionarios gubernamentales y reguladores, fabricantes de equipos y desarrolladores de tecnología.

Algunos de ellos fueron:

• Imesa empresa Española que cuenta con más de 5 sedes en América Latina y que produce toda clase de insumos para la renovación de las tecnologías Hidro Solar.
• International SOS, prestan servicios médicos a nivel mundial para el desarrollo de los proyectos.
• Hibbard Inshore. Underwater Inspection and Construction Services
• GLJ, energy consulting services.
• Arconult S.A, Energía Hidroeléctrica, Transportes Ferroviarios, E. Renovables y Limpias, Equipo Portuario, Industria y Equipos.
• Saint-Gobain Colombia se encarga del diseño, producción y distribución de materiales para construcción y más soluciones para promover el desarrollo.
• Smart Wires desarrolla e implementa tecnologías innovadoras que buscan avanzar la entrega de electricidad.
• Entre otros


4th Renewables Latin America Congress Returned To In-Person Format With Strong Turnout

The 4th Renewables Latin America Congress and Exhibition returned to an in-person format with a hybrid, online option for participants still unable to travel, at the Dann Carlton Medellín on October 5th and 6th. The event had a full complement of commercial exhibitors and a diverse agenda with speakers from the investment, construction and operational sectors of the hydroelectric, geothermal, solar power and wind energy industries.

Presenters hailed from Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and the host country of Colombia. Sponsors included Teincomin, International SOS, Fichtner, and Imesa.

On the second day, Finance Colombia publisher Loren Moss presented a session titled “Innovative ways to attract investment in the renewables sector,” and moderated a later panel on “How to increase efficiency, profitability and avoid merchant risks.”

Vostock Capital is also organizing the first Hydrogen Latin America Congress and Exhibition from November 30 to December 1, 2021 to take place at the NH Collection WTC Royal hotel in Bogotá. Interested exhibitors or participants may contact Catalina Velasco, Latin America Marketing Manager: cvelasco@vostockcapital.com or click here to visit the event website.


4th Latin American Renewable Energy Conference Showed Strong In-Person Attendance

The 4th Renewables Latin America Congress and Exhibition returned to an in-person format with a hybrid, online option for participants still unable to travel, at the Dann Carlton Medellín on October 5th and 6th. The event had a full complement of commercial exhibitors and a diverse agenda with speakers from the investment, construction and operational sectors of the hydroelectric, geothermal, solar power and wind energy industries.

Presenters hailed from Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and the host country of Colombia. Sponsors included Teincomin, International SOS, Fichtner, and Imesa.

On the second day, Finance Americas publisher Loren Moss presented a session titled “Innovative ways to attract investment in the renewables sector,” and moderated a later panel on “How to increase efficiency, profitability and avoid merchant risks.”

Vostock Capital is also organizing the first Hydrogen Latin America Congress and Exhibition from November 30 to December 1, 2021 to take place at the NH Collection WTC Royal hotel in Bogotá. Interested exhibitors or participants may contact Catalina Velasco, Latin America Marketing Manager: cvelasco@vostockcapital.com or click here to visit the event website.