Saturday, June 22, 2024

Senator proposes bill to create ‘national plan’ for green hydrogen

Mexican Senator Alejandra Lagunes Soto of the Green Party (PVEM) has proposed a bill to promote green hydrogen in the Mexican market. 

The aim is to implement a national plan for the use of green hydrogen and to limit the production of fossil fuels as part of the transition towards renewable energy sources. 

Mexican Senator Alejandra Lagunes Soto Ruiz
Senator Alejandra Lagunes Soto wants the Energy Ministry to draft a national plan for the use of hydrogen and for limiting the production of fossil fuels as part of a transition to renewable energy sources. (File photo/Senate)

Green hydrogen is a renewable energy source that some policymakers worldwide hope can help countries reaching their global climate goals and commitments. It has potential use in various business sectors, including the power and manufacturing sectors.

If Lagunes’ proposal is approved, the Ministry of Energy (SENER) will have six months to draft a national plan for the use of green hydrogen.

SENER will then have another six months to carry out a feasibility study regarding the creation of a state-owned green hydrogen company, which would be a subsidiary of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). 

Some experts in Mexico’s energy sector, however, are suggesting that the government should take things slow and do its homework first before involving itself so deeply in the hydrogen business. 

World Bank graphic on how green energy is produced
The environmental advantages to hydrogen fuel is that if the hydrogen is generated via renewable energy methods such as wind or solar, it is a net-zero emissions form of fuel — both in its creation and its use. However, it does require investment in new equipment and infrastructure to generate, store and distribute it. (World Bank)

Israel Hurtado, the president of the Mexican Hydrogen Association, noted that the proposal would help to develop the green hydrogen sector in Mexico but that it should follow months of discussion.  

“For now, we are talking about an incipient industry, but there are companies that already produce hydrogen and other gases used in industrial processes and that do it well. It would be good to consult them to promote the creation of a competitive market in price and cost,” he said. 

Hurtado stressed that it will be important to address regulatory issues and create official standards surrounding green hydrogen production. 

Israel Hurtado, president of the Mexican Hydrogen and Sustainable Mobility Association
Israel Hurtado, president of the Mexican Hydrogen and Sustainable Mobility Association, says the proposal would promote the hydrogen market in Mexico but would urge policymakers to engage in months of discussion before acting.

“We will also have to analyze the technological challenges that lie ahead, how to involve communities in these green hydrogen production projects and how to prepare ourselves to create the human capital involved in this industry.” 

Jorge Mañon, the general director of the National Content and Promotion of the Energy Sector in the Ministry of the Economy, emphasized that Mexico still has a long way to go before green hydrogen is economically viable. 

“Economically, it has to reach prices that are comparable to natural gas to be competitive. Rather than using it to generate electricity, we could well think of including hydrogen in low to moderate quantities in the natural gas streams. That way, it would receive a boost by being incorporated into the gas pipeline network,” he said. 

However, according to the Mexican Hydrogen Association, Mexico’s optimal conditions to produce renewables would result in a lower cost — about 64% less to produce hydrogen than other countries that don’t have this same potential. 

With reports from El Financiero and the World Bank 

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