Experts analyzed hydrogen projections for the productive and energy sector in Chile

November 14, 2019

• In a conversation organized by the CAP Innovation Space with the support of the Fraunhofer Chile. • Chile is positioned worldwide as one of the countries capable of producing Green Hydrogen at a lower cost. According to experts, our renewable energy matrix from north to south offers optimal conditions for sustainable hydrogen production.

A complete analysis of the projections, advantages and opportunities that Hydrogen presents for Chile was offered by the conversation organized by the Innovation Space CAP - with the support of the Center for Solar Energy Technologies of Fraunhofer Chile -, a scientific business event that included presentations by Cristopher Voglstätter, Head of Team Power to Gas of Fraunhofer ISE and the President of H2Chile, Hans Kulemkampff.

The event attracted the interest and attendance of more than 80 professionals, managers and representatives of the public and private world linked to the national energy industry, who were able to listen to the presentations and make their queries to both exhibitors.

In this context, Dr. Cristopher Voglstätter - an international expert on the subject - valued the interest awakened by hydrogen in our country, "My impression is that many Chileans and companies are looking at what Germany is doing and are doing it at the right time to start using hydrogen, analyzing whether it is feasible to use it (...) There are already activities underway to develop hydrogen road maps and I think that is a very good approach. It's also a good idea for the revenue potential in different sectors and for analyzing the costs of hydrogen production because when you combine the different regions of Chile - and Chile has large long-term systems to the south - I think you can analyze the energy potentials of the different regions of Chile. This is a very important point to address as well.

In turn, the President and Founder of the Chilean Hydrogen Association, Hans Kulempkampff, explained that "various international reports place Chile as one of the countries that has the capacity to produce Green Hydrogen at the lowest cost (in the world). The reason for this is that the cost of Hydrogen depends in a simplified form on two components: electricity and the technology's capex. The capex of the technology is dropping sharply since the last 10 years due to the scalability of the projects and the entry of the Chinese manufacturing industry. Therefore, the prices of electrolysis technology are falling, to which we Chileans have done absolutely nothing, but we have the renewable potential, which will allow us to produce very competitive electrons.

Chilean advantages for hydrogen production

Kulempkampff pointed out that "the cost of Hydrogen depends on 80 to 70% of the cost of electricity. Cheap electricity means cheap hydrogen, it's that simple. The important thing is how long in the year I can have variable renewable energy, because the sun only shines for eight hours, and the wind is etocastic. The combination of both, more geothermal, more solar concentration allows you to have a matrix that allows you to optimize the cost of Hydrogen. And therefore, Chile's potential is unique in the world.

That is why he noted that Chile must advance along three transversal lines, in the private sector, the Academy, and the public sector. "The private sector has to start calculating its business model, which it is not yet doing at an important level. Today, they're still calculating the price of the electron, of renewable energy, but there are few companies calculating the price of renewable gas, and that's what we have to do. For that to happen, you're going to have to calculate the whole cost of the value chain, understand what the components are, and that's an HH job, spend time calculating. The academy is going to have to work without reinventing the wheel, in piloting things that have not been tested internationally. In the Hydrogen economy worldwide, the driving has already passed, it was the last decade. Everything has been proven to work technically".

Cristopher Voglstätter also said that "at Fraunhofer we can help with pre-feasibility studies, and how the company uses hydrogen. We can analyze the scenario that the companies have in mind. From the technological point of view, sharing information that we already have or analyzing the situation, the technological background that we provide, and we can also make a technological assessment with simulation tools to analyze the business case and the current boundary conditions, and change different aspects, for example, to see what different scenarios can project Hydrogen to global systems".