Accelerating Chile’s Green Hydrogen Industry: A Path to Sustainable Development

On June 7, 2023, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a substantial loan to support the development of Chile’s green hydrogen industry. This strategic operation aims to decarbonize the economy and create new opportunities for productive development in the country. The loan will be utilized to finance various aspects of the industry, including projects in green hydrogen, domestic demand development, human capital formation, research and technological innovation, and the promotion of entrepreneurship in this sector. With the increasing global demand for green hydrogen and Chile’s natural advantage in producing renewable energy at a low cost, this initiative holds significant potential for enhancing productivity and sustainability.

Green Hydrogen: A Catalyst for Decarbonization

The International Energy Agency predicts that by 2050, annual global hydrogen production will reach approximately 300 million tons, with nearly half of that being green hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources. Given Chile’s abundant renewable energy resources and competitive advantage in generating green hydrogen, the country is well-positioned to capitalize on this growing global demand. By transitioning to green hydrogen, Chile can play a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions, as the country currently has the highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions in Latin America and the Caribbean, comparable to industrialized European nations such as the United Kingdom, France, and Spain. Embracing the green hydrogen industry presents Chile with an opportunity to align with the global objectives outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cut emissions by half before 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the immense potential, the green hydrogen industry in Chile is still in its nascent stages and faces several challenges. Limited project history, high technology costs, and uncertainties regarding long-term performance are common hurdles for emerging industries. However, the IDB’s loan offers a significant boost to overcome these challenges and stimulate investment in the sector. By increasing financial support for green hydrogen initiatives, Chile can overcome barriers, encourage innovation, and establish a thriving industry that contributes to both economic growth and environmental sustainability.

The Role of the IDB in Driving Sustainable Development

The IDB has consistently demonstrated its commitment to improving lives and fostering sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean since its establishment in 1959. Through long-term financing, cutting-edge research, policy advice, technical assistance, and training, the IDB has been a pivotal force in driving economic, social, and institutional development across the region.

The $400 million loan approved by the IDB’s Board of Executive Directors for Chile’s green hydrogen industry is part of the broader $1 billion Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects (CCLIP) focused on productivity and sustainable development in the country. This loan not only injects vital financial resources into the sector but also reflects the IDB’s recognition of the industry’s potential to drive economic growth, promote environmental sustainability, and combat climate change. With a repayment term of 24 years, a grace period of 6.5 years, and an interest rate based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), the loan provides favorable conditions to support the long-term success of the green hydrogen industry in Chile.

The Path to Inclusive and Sustainable Development

María Florencia Attademo-Hirt, the IDB Representative in Chile, highlighted the loan’s significance in advancing an inclusive approach to environmental sustainability and addressing climate change. This emphasis on inclusivity aligns with the principles of classical liberalism, emphasizing individual freedoms, market competition, and equal opportunities for all. By fostering the growth of the green hydrogen industry, the loan not only seeks to decarbonize the economy but also ensures that various stakeholders benefit from the operation. This includes institutions, companies, enterprises, workers, and communities involved in the green hydrogen value chain.

Furthermore, the loan’s allocation towards human capital formation, intermediate goods and services development, and applied research financing demonstrates a commitment to knowledge transfer and innovation. These investments will contribute to the cultivation of skilled labor, technological advancements, and the establishment of a robust ecosystem that supports the long-term viability of the green hydrogen industry in Chile.


The approval of a $400 million loan by the IDB to boost Chile’s green hydrogen industry marks a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards sustainable development. As Chile grapples with high carbon emissions, this loan represents a transformative opportunity to decarbonize its economy, align with global climate goals, and stimulate economic growth. By leveraging its natural advantages in renewable energy production, Chile can become a global leader in green hydrogen. The IDB’s support not only provides critical financial resources but also showcases the organization’s commitment to fostering inclusive and sustainable development in the region. With this loan, Chile is poised to chart a path towards a greener and more prosperous future while contributing to the global effort to combat climate change.

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