Chile’s Green Hydrogen Advantage

Guest Editorial by Diego Pardow, Minister of Energy, Chile

Teeing up the discussions that will take place at the 4th Hydrogen Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean (H2LAC 2024) this June 5-7 in Santiago, Chile, Diego Pardow of Chile’s Ministry of Energy, highlights the unique opportunity green hydrogen presents for the creation of a future-proof industry, leveraging Chile’s natural resources and institutional stability to attract investments, involve local communities, and develop infrastructure, ultimately positioning the country as a global leader in H2 production.

Lea el editorial en español aquí.

The President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, has been clear. With green hydrogen, we have a unique opportunity to innovate for the creation of a future-proof industry. To achieve this, agreements that transcend time and provide the necessary certainty to attract investments are required.

Diego Pardow, Chile's Minister of Energy

As you well know, the comparative advantages of Chile are unique for the industrial deployment of green hydrogen. On one hand, we have nature. The wind in the south and the solar radiation in the north are more potent than anywhere else in the world. This results in unmatched plant attributes compared to our competitors. The second advantage we have is institutional stability for the implementation of energy policies, independent of the government in power. These two advantages are essential for Chile to become a world leader in the production of this clean fuel.

During the previous government, the National Green Hydrogen Strategy was launched, setting ambitious medium and long-term goals. The work done during that period was very successful in attracting investor interest.

But the challenge now was to incorporate local communities into the next phase and this new opportunity. It wasn’t enough to talk about millions of dollars of investment or gigawatts of production, but also about the creation of industrial jobs, the formation of human capital, and advances in infrastructure for the deployment of this industry. This was the focus of the Green Hydrogen Action Plan and the work of a Strategic Committee that we presented to the country a few weeks ago.

Green hydrogen is the future, but it is also the present. In Coquimbo, we have a private project that is blending green hydrogen into thousands of homes through the natural gas network. Similarly, in the Metropolitan Region, there is a logistics center that uses green hydrogen forklifts, reducing operation times, improving productivity, and increasing workers’ incomes.

Another example is what we are seeing in Magallanes. The synthetic fuel production plant from green hydrogen, Haru Oni, is a true Tower of Babel of world technologies, and the company decided that local workers would primarily operate it, opening a future opportunity for men and women in the area. These projects demonstrate the diversity and development possibilities that this industry can bring to our country.

As you can see, we have a great opportunity to leap towards a more diverse, productive, and innovative economy that will grow the country, generate quality jobs, and put us at the forefront of key industries for a more sustainable future for the planet.

About the Contributor

Diego Pardow Lorenzo holds a Degree in Law from the Universidad de Chile, and a Master’s and PhD in Law from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a professor at the Universidad de Chile Law School. Until his appointment as Energy Minister, he served as head of the Presidency Monitoring Unit in the Government of President Gabriel Boric Font. He is a member of the Convergencia Social party.