Africa could emerge as a significant player in the global green hydrogen sector, with the potential to generate over $1 trillion annually by 2035, according to a study funded by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The study, titled “The Extraordinary Potential of Green Hydrogen in Africa,” underscores the continent’s capacity to produce 50 million tons of green hydrogen yearly using its abundant solar energy resources.
The report, a collaborative effort between the EIB, the African Union, the International Solar Energy Alliance, and the Government of Mauritania, is a pioneering exploration into the viability of large-scale green hydrogen development globally.
Green hydrogen, produced through electrolysis using solar and wind energy, holds immense promise in limiting global warming under the Paris Agreement. This report delves into the clean energy potential of green hydrogen and presents a unified ambition for its production among several African countries represented by the African Green Hydrogen Alliance (AGHA).
High solar and wind energy potential position numerous African nations to play a crucial role in the green hydrogen sector. The African Green Hydrogen Alliance, composed of countries such as Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa, aims to catalyze green hydrogen momentum across the continent.
Solar photovoltaic technology, touted as the cheapest electricity source, could cost less than 2 euros per kW by 2030 in several African countries, making it highly competitive against traditional fossil fuels. This, coupled with affordable electrolyzers, creates an environment for cost-effective clean fuel production.
Green hydrogen has the potential to fuel Africa’s energy independence, zero-carbon industrialization, and economic growth. The report envisions renewable energy deployment across the continent, providing affordable electricity and fostering economic development.
Furthermore, as global hydrogen trade is expected to surge, Africa could emerge as a reliable supplier to countries in Europe and Asia, tapping into a burgeoning export market. Southern African countries like Namibia and South Africa, backed by the African Green Hydrogen Alliance, could potentially export millions of tons of hydrogen equivalent, further solidifying Africa’s position in the global hydrogen landscape.