Since worldwide policies promote renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, green hydrogen generation in Africa has been the world’s focus.
With massive projects in Egypt, Morocco, and Mauritania, Africa will lead a global green hydrogen boom. Africa can best meet European needs.
According to Rystad Energy, the stated electrolyzer projects to manufacture green hydrogen in Africa reached 114 gigawatts by February 2023, with 70 gigawatts in sub-Saharan Africa and 50% in Mauritania.
Africa announced 52 green hydrogen projects, with output expected to accelerate after 2025 to 7.2 million tonnes by 2035.
The Energy Research Unit found that Europe and Africa are the key drivers of the hydrogen economy worldwide due to their efforts to increase green hydrogen imports and Africa’s huge potential to generate this clean fuel.
South Africa alone has 90% of the world’s platinum group metals (platinum, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, and iridium), which are needed to make polymeric membrane electrolyzers.
Egypt, with its unique location between Africa, Asia, and Europe and the Suez Canal, might become a green energy hub. Most of the proposed green hydrogen projects aim to export ammonia to Europe.
According to Rystad Energy, Egypt has the most green hydrogen production candidates in Africa, with 21 projects underway.
Scatec, a Norwegian business, has partnered with the Egyptian government to build a 3 million-ton-per-year green ammonia plant for export to Europe and Asia.
At the Suez Canal economic zone of Ain Sukhna, the Emirati Masdar Company and the Egyptian Hassan Allam Company are developing a project. With the goal of producing 2.3 million tonnes of ammonia yearly, as well as additional projects to capitalise on European export prospects.
The Amoun solar energy project, constructed by CWP Global and Bechtel, will produce 900,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year in Morocco.
In addition to numerous other projects in Morocco, the French corporation Total Erin announced another green hydrogen generation project with a capacity of 710 thousand tonnes per year.
The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) reported that Egypt led Arab hydrogen projects with 23 projects, while Morocco ranked fifth with 7 projects to produce green hydrogen and ammonia, as indicated in the chart below:
Green hydrogen production initiatives in Mauritania are profitable since the port of Nouadhibou is close to the European market.
Three major green hydrogen projects are being developed in Mauritania: the Aman project with a production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes per year, the Noor project with 1.2 million tonnes per year, and a massive project by Masdar, Egyptian Infinity Energy, and German Conjuncta with 1.36 million tonnes per year.
The $40 billion, 15-gigawatt Aman project, constructed by CWP Global, is Africa’s largest green hydrogen project.
Britain’s Chariot and France’s Total Erin are creating the Noor project, which has 10 gigawatts of electrolysis like the $34 billion Green Hydrogen Project Infinity-Conjuncta.
The Energy Research Unit’s infographic tracks two green hydrogen initiatives in Mauritania’s clean energy sector:
Namibian green hydrogen production is also booming. Due to the “Tsao Khib” project, created by the “Haven Hydrogen Energy” firm with an investment of $9.4 billion, and other projects established by the Namibian Tomonini Corporation. It has a production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year.
Namibia’s massive green hydrogen project
The French business “HDF Energy” is building Africa’s first green hydrogen power plant, the Swakopmund project.
Djibouti signed agreements with CWP Global to build a renewable energy and green hydrogen centre with a 10-gigawatt capacity and Fortesco Future Industries to create two green hydrogen projects due to its abundant solar, wind, and geothermal resources.
In addition to sustainable aviation fuel, South Africa wants to produce green ammonia through a project for the “Heavy Hydrogen” company with a capacity of 780 thousand tonnes per year and a green hydrogen project for the chemical company “Lindi” in Mpumalanga with 15 million euros ($16.1 million) from the German government.
The 300-megawatt green ammonia facility in Angola aims to export 280,000 tonnes of green hydrogen to Germany.
A 300-megawatt geothermal-powered Kenyan green ammonia facility is also underway.
Rystad Energy sees insufficient investments as the major hurdle to establishing green hydrogen megaprojects and infrastructure in Africa. 13 MW electrolyser projects out of 114 GW have gotten final investment decisions.
Germany’s green hydrogen purchasing deals with Namibia and South Africa highlight Africa’s renewable energy potential and low labour costs.
Norway gave Scatec $8 million to develop green hydrogen projects in Egypt. Europe’s energy crisis from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will intensify this investment trend.
The Repower EU strategy, which aims to import 10 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030 and produce the same amount domestically, encourages investment in renewable energy and green hydrogen projects.
Germany alone plans to import 50-70% of its hydrogen by 2030, mostly from Africa. Germany will install 17–21 gigawatts of natural gas and hydrogen power plants by 2030.