As Trinidad and Tobago begins its transition toward decarbonisation, with a horizon of 2028 for crude oil, the country’s future fuels will be a combination of natural gas, methanol and hydrogen.

To future-proof the country’s energy sector, president of the National Energy Corporation Dr Vernon Paltoo says that T&T will require collaboration.

“I’m confident that we can, as a people and as a region, future-proof our industry and by extension the region. This will involve using natural gas, using carbon capture and storage, using renewable energy, and most importantly, using hydrogen,” he said yesterday.

He observed that while there are different types of hydrogen—blue, grey and green—in T&T green hydrogen is produced directly from natural gas because it is the most cost competitive option.

“However, with increased use of technology, lowering cost of production, we anticipate that blue hydrogen will become more competitive in the near future within probably a five-year period. Within the next decade, we’ll see green hydrogen becoming just as competitive as both blue and grey hydrogen. So all three types of hydrogen will likely feature, and will be necessary in the future of our industry in Trinidad and Tobago,” Paltoo told the delegates at the energy conference in Port of Spain.

He said there was an opportunity for the region as T&T seeks to utilise its natural gas in a more optimised fashion.

In making reference to bpTT/Shell’s Lightsource projects, he said: “The renewable energy that will be produced from that project—112 megawatts—is really just a small portion of what is required for effectively transforming our economy and transforming our industry into one renewable energy, which in parallel, will drive the production of a green hydrogen.”

New lease on life

He said T&T needed to look at renewable energy and hydrogen production on a much larger scale.

Managing director of hydrogen start-up New Gen, Philip Julien, said the global demand for hydrogen will give the downstream sector a new lease on life.

“This new global demand for new hydrogen has granted our petrochemical sector the possibility for a new lease on life. Now it is up to us as a people to embrace this newfound destiny. Which now brings me to the second role of new hydrogen—to reignite the innovative and intellectual prowess that lies within the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and indeed the region, to rise to the occasion and shine. What does it take? All it takes is a few sparks from like-minded people and organisations in both the private and public sector to relight that fire of inspiration, innovation and intellect, and this time around the fire will burn green,” he said.

Julien made two announcements:

1. NewGen will embark on a research collaboration with The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) to look at hydrogen.

2. Kenesjay Green will partner with the National Gas Company (NGC) and National Energy Corporation to undertake a wind study that will help assess how much wind is available for renewable energy generation.

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