A delegation led by Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining Omar Paganini, Ambassador Gabriel Bellón and other government representatives visited ENERTRAG yesterday.
Dauerthal, 4. November 2021 During a tour of the company’s Uckermark renewable power plant, including ENERTRAG’s green hydrogen production facility, the participants discussed the system integration of renewables and the possibilities for the production and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives.
In Uruguay, electricity demand is almost entirely supplied by renewable sources. Within a very short time, Uruguay has made itself independent of fossil fuels and electricity imports. This is on one hand, the result of a high share of hydropower, but on the other hand due to the rapid expansion of renewable energies. Uruguay’s transition began about a decade ago, and led to a massive expansion of wind power, which now contributes approximately 40 percent to the electricity mix, and has led to a significant reduction in electricity production costs. Solar photovoltaic (PV) capacities have also been installed and will be expanded in the upcoming years, in order to further complement the electricity from wind.
The country is currently a net exporter of electricity and expects further surpluses in electricity production of 2 TWh annually over the coming years. Recently, Minister Paganini announced that Uruguay is developing its own hydrogen strategy and is striving to produce and export green hydrogen. This is because Uruguay has immense generation potential in wind and solar PV (with very good complementarity), as well as infrastructure and logistics that are suitable for shipping hydrogen and its derivatives to Europe. The development of a domestic hydrogen economy is also a medium- to longterm possibility.
In Germany and abroad, ENERTRAG is promoting the energy transition and is developing and operating renewable-energy systems. A tour of the Uckermark interconnected power plant, which combines over 600 megawatts of renewable generation capacity and produces both electricity and already commercial volumes of green hydrogen, provided information to the Uruguayan delegation, on the possibilities of renewables, which can already fulfil all important system functions, including grid stability, while minimising fluctuations through the production of green hydrogen.
The H2Global foundation, of which ENERTRAG is a founding member, and the resulting opportunities were also an important topic of discussion. The aim of the H2Global initiative of the German government is to create an efficient funding programme for a fast market ramp-up and import of green-hydrogen-based products to Germany. The envisaged funding mechanism will enable the long-term commercial operation of greenhydrogen plants and the market ramp-up towards an industrial scale which is required now. Thus, H2Global differs from previous investment support programmes, which primarily enabled the development and testing of green-hydrogen technologies.
“We were very delighted with the Uruguayan government's interest in our energy solutions and aim to evolve a close partnership,” summarises Aram Sander, Head of International Business at ENERTRAG. “Our many years of experience in the production of green hydrogen in Germany, and the development of large-scale, export-oriented projects globally is something we would like to bring to Uruguay. We want to contribute in fostering the role of Uruguay as Latin America’s front-runner in implementing a holistic green-energy transition. Uruguay is an ideal partner for Germany with its high-quality renewables resources, space, abundant water and excellent, stable political frameworks.These unique factors combined make Uruguay an attractive region for long-term
infrastructure investments at low financing costs.”
"We are very pleased to meet ENERTRAG and its renewable systems, particularly the role that this type of companies could play in fostering green hydrogen in Uruguay. The combination of private investment and public promotion schemes will be necessary to achieve our second energy transition” said Minister Omar Paganini, of Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining. “Germany and its ecosystem could be strategic partners to develop the green hydrogen economy in our country and the region.”