Decarbonizing the energy sector is crucial for mitigating climate change. Green hydrogen (H2), produced through electrolysis from electricity and renewable energy, is key to bridging the last mile of decarbonization in the context of greenhouse gas neutrality. Moreover, green hydrogen allows for a compression and storage of the surplus of energy produced in optimal weather conditions. Hence, green hydrogen is not only clean and renewable, but may also end our reliance on fossil fuels. Accordingly, the demand for solutions for its production, distribution, and application is particularly strong in industrialized countries.
Yet, the interest in green hydrogen intensifies in emerging economies too: thanks to its favourable geography and climatic conditions, Brazil is a promising country for green hydrogen production. Another relevant factor relates to the price of renewable energy, essential for the generation of green hydrogen. Luckily, the forecasts are bright in Brazil: While renewable energies are already largely affordable today, their price will fall even further in view of decreasing production costs. Consequently, their share in domestic energy supply is growing and already amounted to almost 50% in 2020.
To further advance the local green hydrogen production, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brazil-Germany of Rio de Janeiro (AHK Rio) requested support from the private sector. Brazil already has an active research landscape in green hydrogen so that start-ups and innovations can play a significant role in this case. Within the scope of the H2Brazil programme, which is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported by GIZ Brazil, the German-Brazilian Green Hydrogen Alliance will be running an innovation programme over the next two years for which AHK Rio sought assistance from professionals in the field. Ansgar Pinkowski, Business Scout for Development (BSfD) at AHK Rio explains: “As part of a tender worth EUR 500.000, we were looking for experts to advance R&D, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Brazil’s green hydrogen sector. By publishing a call for proposals on leverist.de, we wanted to find companies interested in supporting a 2-years innovation programme”.
The call immediately attracted the attention of numerous companies. Their qualified proposals underlined their strong interest in collaborating. Eventually, six companies were asked to submit a detailed financial and technical offer. By now, the tender has been awarded to a consortium of two Brazilian institutions: the Fondação Parque Tecnológico Itaipu-Brasil (PTI-BR) and the Centro Internacional de Energias Renováveis e Biogás (CIBiogás).
The technological park PTI-BR is an innovation ecosystem that integrates educational institutions, companies, and government agencies to boost sustainable economic and technological development. PTI-BR teamed up with CIBiogás, an ICT institution with the aim of promoting the renewable energy market. On March 15th, AHK Rio and the consortium members met to endorse the contract signing.
According to Ansgar Pinkowski, who is responsible for Innovation, Energy and Sustainability at AHK Rio, the consortium won the tender by demonstrating its vast expertise in innovation, energy, and green hydrogen. “Besides meeting the technical and financial requirements, their portfolio of renewable energy projects and expertise in accelerating entrepreneurship convinced us”, explains Ansgar Pinkowski. The consortium will soon get started and boost Brazil’s green hydrogen ecosystem by encouraging open innovation.
“We believe that our country can support decarbonization processes and energy transition not only on a national but also an international scale.”
Rafael González, CEO at CIBiogás
Green hydrogen may be used in the transportation sector, in the food and chemical industries, in oil and petroleum refineries, as well as in cement and steel production. Given its ports and logistics, Brazil could become one of the major exporters of green hydrogen. Irrespective of where it is consumed, Brazil’s green hydrogen will most definitely contribute to decarbonization and mitigating the effects of climate change around the globe.
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The Business Scouts for Development (BSfD) work as development policy experts in around 40 countries across the globe. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), they advise German, European and local companies on development policy matters and promote responsible business engagement through cooperation projects.
The H2Brazil Green Hydrogen Innovation programme consists in the realization of editions for ideas, projects and solutions for production, logistics and application of Green Hydrogen. The programme is financed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), supported by the GIZ Brazil, and realized by the German-Brazilian Green Hydrogen Alliance.
© Image Rights:
- German-Brazilian Alliance for Green Hydrogen, 2022
- Kiko Sierich/PTI-BR, 2022
- petrmalinak/Shutterstock.com, 2022