Green hydrogen has become a central topic in the transition towards a sustainable and low-carbon economy, thanks to its ability to generate clean energy from renewable sources. In this article, we will explore what green hydrogen is and how Colombia is positioned as a leader in its production and export, taking advantage of its geographic and climatic advantages, as well as the government and industry’s commitment to drive this energy of the future.
What is green hydrogen and why is it important?
Green hydrogen is a type of clean energy that is obtained through the electrolysis of water, using renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power. Unlike fossil fuels, green hydrogen does not generate greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to mitigating climate change and transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.
Colombia: a country with potential to produce and export green hydrogen
Colombia has favorable geographic and climatic conditions that allow for a high availability of renewable resources. According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the country could generate up to 50 gigawatts of solar and wind energy, which is equivalent to more than 10 times the current installed capacity of the national electricity system.
In addition, Colombia’s strategic position in the American continent and its access to both oceans facilitate its connection with international markets that demand green hydrogen, such as Europe and Asia. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) estimates that the global hydrogen market could reach 2.5 trillion dollars by 2050.
Strategies and projects underway to drive the hydrogen industry in Colombia
The National Government has designed a roadmap for the development of the hydrogen industry in the country, focused on four strategic pillars: regulation and institutional framework, research and innovation, financing, and international cooperation. For its part, the Ecopetrol Group has announced its low-carbon hydrogen strategic plan, which includes projects worth 2.5 billion dollars by 2040.
Among the most notable projects is the first green hydrogen production pilot in Colombia, launched in March 2023 at the Cartagena Refinery, with an electrolyzer powered by solar panels. In addition, the acquisition of two electrolytic hydrogen generation systems with recharging stations for bus and vehicle mobility applications is planned.
Green hydrogen represents a viable and sustainable alternative to diversify Colombia’s energy matrix, generate employment and regional development, and meet the environmental commitments acquired in the Paris Agreement. Colombia faces the challenge and opportunity to position itself as a regional leader in the production and export of this energy of the future. To achieve this, it will be essential to continue promoting public and private policies that encourage research, innovation, and technological development around green hydrogen.
In summary, green hydrogen is a clean and sustainable energy that can play a crucial role in the fight against climate change and the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Colombia, thanks to its geographic, climatic, and strategic conditions, has great potential to become a reference in the production and export of green hydrogen, generating economic and environmental benefits at the national and regional levels. To seize this opportunity, it is essential to continue promoting cooperation between the government, industry, and academia, and consolidate a shared and long-term vision that allows Colombia to position itself as a leader in the production and export of green hydrogen on the global stage.