Hydrogen in Colombia

Regulation & Policy, Renewables    May 27, 2021 3:34 PM

Luis Barallat, Director and Senior partner of Boston Consulting Group, spoke about green hydrogen in Colombia.

Barallat told Portafolio that green hydrogen represents a decarbonization alternative for various industries, such as mining or transportation.

“The implementation of green hydrogen represents a challenge for Colombia, because this type of clean energy source does not seem to be so competitive in principle, but it is worth setting up new schemes for its development. The possibility of producing hydrogen is real, it exists,” Barallat said.

The expert said that this fuel has a great future as a clean and efficient fuel, but it is necessary to improve its competitiveness to make it popular.

“So as its value decreases, its production will become more massive. For this green hydrogen to be competitive, the ideal is that its production cost is minimal,” Barallat said.

Barallat said that Colombia produces little hydrogen at present, around 140,000 tons, mainly at Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC) refineries.

“Hydrogen can be used mainly for the removal of sulfur in liquid fuels. In the medium term, and with a higher production, it can be used for vehicles, in passenger and heavy transport, in freight trains, even for mining. Also, for power generation in thermoelectric plants,” Barallat explained.

The expert said that producing a kilo of blue hydrogen from hydrocarbons costs between US$1 and US$2 and making a kilo of green hydrogen from renewable energies costs between US$4 and US$8.

“A possible overcrowding could occur before the end of this decade in the country. Colombia must think about how to participate in this opportunity,” Barallat said.

Bottom-Line: Colombia has the potential to mass green hydrogen production, but this process will be aligned with the inclusion of renewable energies and their participation in the energy matrix.

In addition, it will be essential to guarantee legal certainty to investors to attract their interest.


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