Hydrogen in Chile: An interview with Hinicio

In 2019, Chile exported $33bn worth of copper, maintaining its position as the world’s largest producer of the red metal. New milling technology, economic reforms and increasing investment attractiveness were catalysts that turned Chile into the copper powerhouse it is today.

But copper mining is a very energy intensive industry, and so less than a decade ago Chile began a drive towards renewable energies to power its sector. Since it embarked down the green technology route, Chile has pushed the cost of producing solar power down 80%.

So, where does hydrogen fit into all of this? Continuing with its push towards renewables, Chile wants to turn its solar boom into a hydrogen economy – and unlike solar and wind energy, hydrogen can be produced day or night in any weather conditions. The South American country could even be exporting as much green hydrogen as it does minerals in the next 30 years. Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet recently said Chile could be producing 25 million tonnes of hydrogen a year by 2050, generating exports worth more than $30bn.

Instrumental in this vision is strategy consulting firm Hinicio, who this year joined forces with entrepreneur Hans Kulenkampff to accelerate the development of hydrogen and energy transition projects in Chile. Both parties will jointly lead commercial developments nationwide, with the objective to quickly become the leading advisory team in hydrogen in Chile and Latin America.

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