According to EU and Namibian officials, the union is preparing an agreement with Namibia to promote the nation’s emerging green hydrogen industry and increase its own imports of the fuel as it strives to lessen its reliance on Russian energy.
While hydrogen has seen some adoption in the EU, primarily in heavy industry and transportation, high costs and a lack of infrastructure have limited consumption, and the fuel only meets 2% of the bloc’s energy needs. Hydrogen has long been hailed as a less-emissions-heavy alternative to fossil fuels.
The majority of hydrogen consumed in the EU is so-called “grey” or “blue” hydrogen, which is generated using gas, increasing prices and associated emissions. Due to this, it is now simpler to obtain green hydrogen, and employing renewable energy is now a top priority.
By 2030, the EU planned to import at least 10 tonnes of green hydrogen while producing an additional 10 million tonnes of the gas domestically.
According to the idea, the EU and Namibia would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on hydrogen and minerals during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt in November.
Obeth Kandjoze, the director-general of the National Planning Commission of the nation in southwest Africa, told Reuters that negotiations for a contract on green hydrogen were in progress but made no mention of minerals.
The European Commission said it was working on green hydrogen projects in Namibia but declined to comment on the potential contract.
The costs of moving the gasoline were not addressed by the administration. Although Memorandums of Understanding often contain minimal information on import volumes, investments, and delivery schedules, they are significant political commitments that open the door for long-term partnerships.
In an effort to find alternate energy sources and reduce its reliance on Russian oil, gas, and coal, the EU inked a Memorandum of Understanding last month on gas imports with Israel and Egypt.
Namibia, one of the driest and least populous nations in the world, is attempting to use its enormous potential for solar and wind energy to create green hydrogen.
The German government has already committed to investing 40 million euros ($41.8 million) in Namibia’s green hydrogen industry, and similar businesses from Belgium and the Netherlands are also active there.
According to the source, Namibia’s access to direct EU money would probably be restricted, but an agreement might bring in more investors and financing through green bonds.
According to the EU official, the EU wants to make it simpler for people to access Namibia’s minerals and is planning geological studies to investigate the country’s resources. Namibia is almost as large as the combined territory of France and Germany.
The EU’s “Global Gateway policy,” which is Brussels’ response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative to increase infrastructure investment and diplomatic connections with poorer nations, includes Namibia among its target nations.