T&T can be a green hydrogen hub in the region as it is well poised, says Carina Cockburn, country representative for the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB).
The IDB collaborated with the National Energy Corporation of T&T on a green hydrogen study and roadmap for this country.
Speaking at the launch at the Hilton Hotel yesterday, Cockburn said while green hydrogen is not a new product and electrolysis is not a new process, green hydrogen, however, is becoming cost effective to produce as a result of innovations in the generation of renewable energy.
In fact, over the last ten years there has been a decline in the cost of production not only for solar and onshore wind generation but also for offshore wind as well, Cockburn explained.
Consequently, she added, a new portfolio of energy products is being created including green hydrogen, green ammonia, green methanol and green cement.
“T&T is well poised to take advantage of this trend. Using the existing installed capacity, know-how and decades of experience in the oil and gas industry, it is now an attractive proposition for T&T to expand its product mix to include competitive green products which are in high demand,” Cockburn said.
She added, the IDB has been monitoring how other countries are positioning themselves to benefit from the green hydrogen opportunity.
According to Cockburn, some are lining up to be green hydrogen hubs—even though they aren’t producing yet, they are signalling that they wish to play this role based on their geographic location or existing infrastructure.
Other countries are planning to be hydrogen powerhouses.
“These are countries which already produce renewable energy at very low cost and are seeking to be the price setters in the new market.
“And there are yet others, which have great renewable energy potential, particularly offshore wind, and which have long experience in the petrochemical sector,” Cockburn added.
Additionally, she said T&T has a comparative advantage, noting that given the size of the petrochemical sector it already has relevant infrastructure in place.
Further, T&T has established itself over time as a trusted player in the international energy market and as a reliable supplier with a solid track record, she added.
“The country can therefore, leverage its reputation as a trusted fuel exporter with decades of experience,” Cockburn said. Also, she said the study demonstrates the large potential for renewable energy, including promising offshore opportunities. Like other islands which face land constraints, T&T has a great opportunity to harness the wind that blows at sea, in the same way in which it has harnessed the hydrocarbon resources offshore over many years, Cockburn explained.
“Therefore, T&T is uniquely positioned to maintain its leadership position as an innovator in the energy sector—with decarbonised and greener fuels based on offshore wind this time around,” she added.
Energy Minister Stuart Young, who also spoke, said this country must move quicker to implement its green hydrogen economy. “We have international shipping of renewables and Singapore has that. They have done it efficiently, Singapore is a hub, but we have the rest of the value chain here and that is the message.
“The Government is about to announce massive solar and wind projects,” Young said.