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    $500 million to be invested for green hydrogen


    June 15, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      Panama intends to become a green hydrogen distribution center for which the National Energy Secretariat has already drawn up a roadmap and is now developing a strategy to implement the project.

      During the forum on urban mobility, waste management and climate change, organized by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede), the Secretary of Energy, Jorge Rivera Staff said that the initiative is gaining relevance not only because of the climate issue but also because of the increase in the price of fuels that forces to look for alternatives.

      Rivera Staff said that investments of $500 million in associated infrastructure are estimated for the next two or three years for this project. This amount of investments is part of the $4 billion in investments that have been calculated for the energy transition project in Panama. According to Rivera Staff, some 15,000 jobs are expected to be generated with the energy transition projects in three years. If projected to 2050 it is estimated that there would be about 140 thousand jobs.

      Green hydrogen has gained strength to be used in the cement and steel industry. But one of the advantages is to use renewable energies to produce it, an aspect in which Panama has advantages as it has a generation park that includes hydroelectric, solar and wind power.

      Currently 95% of the green hydrogen produced in the world comes from natural gas, a fossil resource that although it is cleaner always produces emissions. This technology is based on the generation of hydrogen, a universal, light and highly reactive fuel, through a chemical process known as electrolysis. The hydrogen is separated from the oxygen in the water by means of an electric current.

      According to electricity industry projections, 50% of green hydrogen should be used worldwide by 2050. Panama is trying to become a major player in this market. There are already 37 countries that have published a roadmap, including Panama, which did so last January.

      It is estimated that some 190 million long tons of green hydrogen could be passing through the Panama Canal by 2050. According to Rivera, in addition to its geographical position, the Canal can leverage the project of a hub for storage, commercialization and transformation of green hydrogen. In addition, the country has the financial, logistic and air components, among other ideal conditions to consolidate this project.

      "There our goals is to position ourselves as that global hydrogen route with investments in infrastructure, but also in knowledge because specialized personnel such as technicians and experts are needed," added Rivera Staff.

      Also a regulatory framework has to be developed to carry out the proposal. One of the first steps is the creation of pilot projects.

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