Trinidad and Tobago, a regional powerhouse in petrochemicals, is positioning itself to be a key player in the global energy transition through investments in hydrogen.
The National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (National Energy), on behalf of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) collaborated with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to launch the “Roadmap for a Green Hydrogen Economy in Trinidad and Tobago”.
Hydrogen is believed by many to be a huge enabler in the global transition to sustainable energy. By 2050, it is projected that 12% of the world’s energy demand will be met by hydrogen.
The document notes that Trinidad’s oil and gas infrastructure, including storage and export facilities, as well as its operational experience, give it a head start to developing a hydrogen economy. With the right approach, the report says Trinidad and Tobago can position itself to be the leading production, storage, and trading hub for the Caribbean region in green hydrogen and green products.
Green hydrogen is produced with electrolysis, a highly energy-intensive process that uses electricity to split water molecules into their component parts (hydrogen and oxygen molecules). When the electricity for this is obtained from renewable sources such as on-site solar or wind, it is green.
By 2065, Trinidad and Tobago aims to install 57 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind nameplate capacity, translating to 25 GW of power that feeds electrolysers, producing 4 million tons per annum (Mtpa) of green hydrogen. Through this programme, the document states that the twin island republic will generate net benefits in the billions creating thousands of jobs in the construction, operation, and maintenance sectors.
The document states that the country already has a captive demand of 1.5 Mtpa of grey hydrogen, which is created from natural gas, or methane, using steam methane reformation but without capturing the greenhouse gases made in the process.
The report acknowledges that the right policies, regulatory frameworks, and institutional support that builds capacity, will be needed to attract foreign direct investment in this regard.