Within the framework of the National Green Hydrogen Strategy, the Ministry of Energy carried out a study with the objective of identifying and quantifying the wind potential for the development of green hydrogen in the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic Region.
According to the research, the southernmost region of the country could produce 13% green hydrogen in the world given its immense potential in wind energy, considering that the estimated annual wind power generation in Magallanes could exceed the current electricity generation of the Chilean electricity matrix.
“We have the best strategic conditions for the Magallanes region to be a pole in the generation and export of green hydrogen. And not only does it have an excellent potential in wind energy as a basis to support the industry of this fuel, but also with the infrastructure, petrochemical and port experience necessary to turn the Magallanes Region into a generator and exporter of green hydrogen ”, said the Minister Jobet.
“The Magallanes Region will be the green region of Chile and from the extreme south of our country, we will be contributing to decarbonize the entire world” added Jobet.
The Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic Region has one of the best wind resources nationwide, reaching an estimated potential of 126,000 MW.
This great potential is directly related to the capacity to produce hydrogen with a renewable source, reaching more than 10 million tons of green hydrogen per year. As a reference, Chile currently produces around 70,000 tons / H2 per year based on natural gas, and in the world 70 million tons of hydrogen are produced per year (Chile represents 0.1%).
The study applied a methodology consisting of the superposition of data related to the plant factor, with georeferenced layers of information that represent technical, environmental and territorial restrictions, in order to locate areas with favorable conditions for the establishment of wind facilities.
The wind potential is mainly distributed in the Patagonian steppe oriented towards the southeastern sector of the continental territory and in an important part of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, concentrating about 41% of the regional wind capacity and an average plant factor of 50 %, this in a radius less than 100 km from the city of Punta Arenas.
In turn, the plant factor data are the result of numerical models that combine meteorological processes applied to the performance of wind technology (power curve), which for this case considers a typical 3.3 MW wind turbine at a hub height of 120m.
Finally, the minister pointed out “this 2021 will be the year of the consolidation of the NCRE; mainly solar and wind and with this we are leaving behind the era of coal, and consolidating that of clean energy. Chile for decades was an importer of highly polluting energies, now it has the possibility of exporting renewable energy to the whole world ”.
STUDY IN ANTOFAGASTA
The Minister of Energy also announced that he is replicating the research in the Antofagasta region, to measure the potential of the area to produce green hydrogen with solar energy and pointed out that “the regions will be the heart of the new industry. Our north will be the capital of the sun and our south the capital of the wind, both areas with ideal conditions to produce the fuel of the future ”.
Green hydrogen would contribute between 17% and 27% of the reductions necessary for Chile to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
There are currently two wind projects in Magallanes, totaling 12.9 MW installed wind power:
- Cabo Negro 2.55 MW
- Patagonian Winds (New PE Cabo Negro) of 10.35 MW
There is a third project but it is still under construction, which is the Villa Ponsomby Río Verde Wind-Diesel Hybrid generation facility, a 0.13 MW project to provide electricity to Rio Verde.
Chile is a country rich in the energies of the future. Green hydrogen produced in the Atacama Desert and in the Magallanes Region would have the lowest level cost of production in the world by 2030. Under these conditions, the International Energy Agency estimates Chile’s green H2 generation potential at more than 160 million tons per year, which means that Chile could produce more than twice the amount of green hydrogen that is currently produced worldwide.
Between 50% and 80% of the cost of hydrogen production depends on energy, which makes Chile one of the countries with the best conditions for its production. In this sense, we expect that NCRE projects will continue to increase, since Chile has more than 1,800 GW of renewable energy potential, which is equivalent to 70 times Chile’s demand.
Source: Chilean Govt.