Image: Daily Maverick
Namibia is expected to become one of the world’s key players in the green hydrogen market, with production costs that will make the southern-African country an attractive partner for the international community during the global energy transition towards green energy.
With its vast areas of unused land providing strong potential for wind and solar energy, as well as the use of platinum and iridium in its manufacture, – platinum group metals found in abundance in the southern-African country – it is projected that production for green hydrogen from Namibia will cost approximately $2 per kg, a record low, according to Innovative Commissioner for Green Hydrogen at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Dr. Stefan Kaufmann during a webinar in November.
Driving the development and production of renewable sources to support the global energy transition, green hydrogen is seen as an attractive source of electricity, due to the relative ease of its storage capabilities and the global shift by companies and countries towards carbon-neutrality.
With the potential to become an international exporter of green hydrogen, Namibia will facilitate the development of, and research into, its development by foreign institutes, with interest already having been clinched by Germany.
Utilizing the opportunity for the entire African continent to leverage off green hydrogen development, The African Hydrogen Partnership, an association dedicated to the development of green hydrogen in Africa, has supported the integration of 40 GW of electrolyzer capacity in Europe and another 40 GW in North Africa.
“There is a huge demand for green hydrogen, but the supply side from Africa needs to be very much boosted,” said Internal Renewable Energy Agency project facilitation director, Ahmed Badr.
“Hydrogen is dispatchable and in the best case we will have pipelines, and there are existing pipelines between the African continent, especially from Tunisia via Italy and from Morocco via Spain,” stated CEO of Hydrogen Europe, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, adding that, “There are new pipeline projects to be built from Egypt to Cyprus, Greece, and Italy and it is important that here we can use basically existing infrastructure that needs to be repurposed.”
“We really see this as an historic moment and an opportunity to build a new win-win history and this is why we are trying to prepare the ground in Morocco,” added Samir Rachidi, Head of the Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energies.
Announced at COP26 in early-November, The Government of Namibia selected project development company, Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, a joint venture between strategic investment and infrastructure project developer, Nicholas Holdings Limited and independent German company, Enertag South Africa, as the preferred bidder for a $9.4 billion green hydrogen project in the in the Tsau//Khaeb National Park, in southern Namibia.