Brazil’s National Hydrogen Program Propels the Nation Towards Energy Transition Leadership

In 2023, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) in Brazil took significant strides in advancing actions to accelerate the low-carbon hydrogen economy, capitalize on global opportunities, and strengthen the overall energy transition. A pivotal moment in these efforts came with the release of the three-year action plan (2023-2025) of the National Hydrogen Program (PNH2) in August. Coordinated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, this plan outlines key milestones, investments, and regulatory frameworks aimed at positioning Brazil as a leader in the low-carbon hydrogen market.

Key Goals and Timeline

The triennial plan sets ambitious goals, with a target to establish low-carbon hydrogen pilot plants across all regions of Brazil by 2025. Looking ahead to 2030, the objective is to consolidate Brazil as the most competitive global producer of hydrogen, followed by the establishment of low-carbon hydrogen hubs by 2035. The Ministry estimates the country’s technical potential to produce 1.8 gigatons of hydrogen annually at a lower production cost.

Priority Actions

Out of the 65 proposals outlined in the triennial plan, three actions were identified as priorities, including the definition of a legal framework for the hydrogen sector. The Hydrogen National Program Steering Committee (Coges-PNH2), under the MME, has actively contributed to formulating and refining proposals for the legal framework. In November, a legislative proposal, incorporating the governance structure for hydrogen certification proposed by Coges-PNH2, was approved by the Chamber of Deputies and is currently in the Senate.

International Recognition

To ensure international recognition, Brazil signed the “Declaration for Mutual Recognition of Certification Schemes” at COP 28. This commitment among nations to recognize nationally defined certification is a critical step in establishing Brazil as a key player in the global hydrogen market. Additionally, a declaration outlining public-private actions for international hydrogen trade was signed, reinforcing Brazil’s commitment to becoming a major contributor to the multi-billion-dollar international hydrogen market.

Minister’s Perspective

Minister of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira, emphasized the importance of the National Hydrogen Program and its dialogue with the legislative branch, stating, “We are talking about actions that will attract more investments, create new opportunities and jobs, foster greater decarbonization of industry and transportation, helping to create an international market worth billions of dollars.”

Research and Development

Another priority outlined in the PNH2 is the intensification of investments in research and development for hydrogen. The goal is to multiply annual public and publicly-oriented research and development investments in the sector by seven times by 2025. Initiatives such as the ANEEL’s strategic public consultation for hydrogen research and development demonstrate a commitment to innovation in the hydrogen sector.

Access to Financing

Ensuring sufficient financing for the sector is a crucial priority. In 2023, the MME, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, proposed a $35 million investment plan for the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) to develop the hydrogen hub in Pecém, Ceará. This initiative, approved in June, includes infrastructure investments and is expected to be further leveraged by funds from the port itself and the World Bank.

International Collaborations

At COP 28, the BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development) signed a partnership with the World Bank to develop financing mechanisms throughout the entire low-carbon hydrogen value chain. This agreement encompasses projects related to carbon capture, electrolyzers and associated equipment, logistics and shared infrastructure in technology-focused hubs, synthetic fuels, and industrial decarbonization. Another collaboration was signed with the British government for the development of hydrogen hubs in Brazil.

Programmatic Structure

The PNH2 is organized into six key pillars, incorporating a multidisciplinary and inclusive approach. Representatives from the public sector, private industry, and academia contribute to the program’s development. Thiago Barral, the National Secretary for Energy Transition and Planning at MME, explains, “The PNH2 is structured around six pillars, encompassing a set of actions that will simultaneously consider the development of public policies, technologies, and the market.”


Brazil’s National Hydrogen Program stands as a beacon of the nation’s commitment to advancing in the global energy transition. With a comprehensive approach, strategic goals, and active international collaborations, Brazil is poised to play a leading role in the burgeoning low-carbon hydrogen market. As the program unfolds, the nation anticipates attracting investments, fostering innovation, and contributing significantly to the decarbonization of various industries, solidifying its position as a key player in the global energy landscape.