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Green Hydrogen Will Add to Uruguay’s Role as a Renewables Leader – Bloomberg

  • Investors eyeing seven green hydrogen projects in Uruguay
  • Proposed data centers will also require renewable power
Photovoltaic panels in Constancia, Uruguay
Photovoltaic panels in Constancia, Uruguay. (Mariana Greif Etchebehere/Bloomberg)

Ken Parks, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 07 03 2022

Uruguay’s renewable energy sector still has room to run with multi-billion dollar plans to build synthetic fuel plants and as data centers are set to boost demand for wind and solar power, said Marcelo Mula, who heads the trade group Auder.

Investors are developing or evaluating at least seven green hydrogen projects in Uruguay including, HIF Global’s proposed

$4 billion synthetic gasoline plant, Mula said in an interview.

Developing green hydrogen will add to Uruguay’s role as a regional leader for clean energy. The South American country of 3.5 million spent more than $8 billion on renewable power infrastructure including wind and solar farms during the 2010s. Those investments and legacy hydroelectric dams allow Uruguay to generate almost all of its power from renewable sources — as long as the weather is wet and windy.

“We can focus our laws, promotional efforts to directly develop this new energy sector,” Mula said, referring to green hydrogen. “Other government have to continue pushing to meet decarbonization objectives” for their power grids, he said.

Uruguay generates 98% of its power from renewables in a good year
Source: state power utility UTE
*2023 data corresponds to January-July

Uruguay is competing with regional peers like Chile and Brazil for money to make synthetic fuels and chemicals from green hydrogen — produced by splitting water molecules with renewable power — for export markets like the European Union. Hydrogen and derivative products are seen as key to decarbonizing fossil fuel intensive sectors such as airlines, shipping and heavy industry.

Read More: Germany Plans to Rely on Imports for Bulk of Hydrogen Supplies

Data centers planned by tech companies and cryptocurrency miners are another opportunity for renewable energy developers, Mula said.

“Renewable energy has the potential to attract very, very large private investment,” he said.

bloomberg.com 08 02 2023

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