Chile will produce hydrogen through wind energy

Enel Green Power Chile (EGP Chile), a subsidiary of Enel Chile, plans to participate with the Chilean electricity company AME and potential partners ENAP [1], Siemens Energy and Porsche, in the installation of a pilot plant for the production of green hydrogen through an electrolyzer powered by wind energy, in Cabo Negro, north of Punta Arenas, in the Magallanes Region. The project is subject to the approval of the local authorities and the finalization of the financing structure. The facility is expected to enter service in 2022, making it the first plant of its kind to produce green hydrogen in Chile, as well as one of the largest in Latin America.

The announcement was made during an event in which the Minister of Energy, Juan Carlos Jobet, participated.

Salvatore Bernabei, recently appointed CEO of Enel Green Power and Director of Enel’s Global Power Generation business line, said: “Green hydrogen can really play an important role in the energy transition by supporting the decarbonization of sectors with difficult emissions to eliminating where electrification of end uses is not an easy solution. Enel focuses on this type of hydrogen, which is produced using electrolyzers, which run on 100% renewable electricity. This project, which is a milestone for the Group worldwide, can put our vision into practice. Specifically, a project like this can allow us to analyze the best technological solutions to efficiently produce hydrogen, taking advantage of the wealth of resources and the robust infrastructure of the Magallanes Region. As we are doing in Chile, we will continue looking for other countries in the world where similar initiatives can be launched. “

A Project in Patagonia

In a country with excellent natural resources, Patagonia stands out for having some of the best onshore wind conditions in the world due to its proximity to Antarctica, as evidenced by a wind resource study conducted by EGP Chile in the last two years . These unique characteristics allow Patagonia to have constant generation of wind energy, which is key for the region to position itself as a center for green hydrogen development.

Specifically, the Magallanes Region seeks to diversify its energy matrix historically marked by oil and gas, taking advantage of the existing infrastructure to accelerate decarbonization through green hydrogen generated by the wind.

Green hydrogen in Chile

Chile is emerging as one of the countries with the greatest potential for the production and export of green hydrogen in the world. According to Chile’s Ministry of Energy [2] up to 20% of the country’s cumulative CO2 reduction by 2050 will be possible thanks to profitable green hydrogen. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that Chile is capable of producing 160 million tons of green hydrogen per year [3], doubling the current demand for hydrogen and, according to Bloomberg projections [4] the price of green hydrogen will be competitive with diesel in approximately less than 10 years.

Enel in Chile is the largest electricity company by installed capacity with more than 7,200 MW of which more than 4,700 MW are from renewable energy: more than 3,500 MW of hydroelectric energy, more than 600 MW of wind energy, about 500 MW of energy solar and approx. 40 MW of geothermal energy. The Group also operates in the distribution sector through Enel Distribución Chile, which serves around 2 million customers, as well as in the advanced energy solutions business through Enel X Chile.

Enel Green Power, within the Enel Group, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewable energies throughout the world, with a presence in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a world leader in the green energy sector with an installed capacity of around 46.4 GW in a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies in renewable energy plants.