The Chile energy ministry has recently conducted a study to explore the production of hydrogen from wind energy in the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica Region.
The study ascertained that the Magallanes Region, which is the southern part of Chile, can take into account 13% of green global hydrogen production using its wind power resources, though it requires substantial investment in wind power infrastructure. The study also looked into various factors such as technical issues, environmental implications and geographical constraints to identify the ideal locations for wind turbine installations.
Considering various technical aspects, the ideal wind turbine would be of 3.3 MW of power at a hub height of 120 meters. There are currently two wind projects in Magallanes, with a total installed capacity of 12.9 MW.
The Magallanes region is also equipped with crucial industrial infrastructure and port facility to support the hydrogen exports.
“The Magellan Region will be the green region of Chile, and from the southern end of our country, we will be contributing to decarbonise the whole world,” Juan Jobet, the country energy minister, said. He added that Chile imported highly-polluting fuel for decades, and now there is a possibility that we can export renewable energy to the whole world.
The report cited that the region wind energy has the potential to produce 126 GW of energy. This would enable the region to produce 10 million tonnes/year of hydrogen production. Currently, Chile produces around 70k tonnes of hydrogen annually from natural gas, which is almost negligible compared to global hydrogen production, which stands at about 70 million tonnes/year.
Mr Jobet also said that he wants to conduct a similar study for the Antofagasta region, to assess the region potential of producing hydrogen from solar energy. The North will be producing hydrogen from solar power, while the south will produce green hydrogen from wind power.
Green hydrogen will not only make the country to be a leading exporter but can help achieve the country carbon neutrality by 2050.
The International Energy Agency estimates that Chile’s can potentially produce around 160 million tonnes/year of green hydrogen production. Chile also has more than 1,800 GW of renewable energy potential, equivalent to 70 times the country’s total demand.