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Going solar: green Chile is hot for clean energy transition

World

Going solar: green Chile is hot for clean energy transition

From Chile and Brazil to India, nations eye hydrogen boom but face high costs and labour expertise challenges

Anastasia Moloney and Fabio Teixeira

High in Chile’s sun-drenched Atacama Desert, Gaston Caceres and five other engineers are working on plans for a huge solar-powered hydrogen project that reflects their country's ambitions to become a leading exporter of the fuel. “Green” hydrogen, which is extracted from water using electrolysis in a process powered by renewable energy, is touted as a potential game-changer in the race for net-zero emissions by cutting fossil fuel dependence to fight climate change.

But despite Chile’s abundant supplies of wind and solar energy, Caceres is candid about the challenges ahead for the nascent project — not least its $4bn-$5bn (R64bn-R80bn) estimated price tag.

“There aren’t tax breaks or other governmental benefits for these types of big project developments,” he said...

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