Germany will need to buy green hydrogen from other nations in the future energy grid. The Research Center Jülich (FZJ) has constructed an African hydrogen atlas and investigated the possibilities of the African republics south of the Sahara.
Future energy systems are thought to be built primarily out of hydrogen. It can be carried rather simply due to its ability to store extra electricity from renewable sources, and it can also be transformed back into other types of energy like heat and electricity. In the chemical sector, hydrogen also plays a significant role and is employed in the creation of synthetic fuels, among other things.
As a result, the demand for hydrogen will skyrocket in the future. It is obvious that we won’t be able to meet the total demand for green, or hydrogen created through regenerative processes, in this nation. According to Detlef Stolten, Germany can create nearly half of the 12 million tonnes of hydrogen that are needed annually. In a comprehensive analysis of the German energy system, the director of the Institute for Energy and Climate Research at the Research Center Jülich (FZJ) made calculations.
The potential for producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources must be understood in order to identify potential partner nations for the import of green hydrogen. As part of the “H2 Atlas-Africa” project for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Jülich team aimed to learn more about these in particular in southern and western Africa.
The project’s goal is to establish a win-win situation for Germany and the African nations. The atlas serves as a crucial foundation in this situation since it helps the locally engaged individuals quickly discover promising locations for hydrogen production, draw investors, create demo projects, and afterwards gradually build up their own sustainable and independent value chain. That would help these nations’ economies, which are expanding quickly. At the same time, it would reduce emissions that have historically been closely linked to economies experiencing high expansion. Berlin hoped that through finding trustworthy partners, Germany would also profit from an expanding global hydrogen market:
With sophisticated models and algorithms that the Jülich scientists have created and improved for such assessments, everything takes place entirely virtually on the computer.
Wind turbines and photovoltaic systems exist in the computer, and they are unquestionably in competition with one another. Maybe these locations get a lot of sun? In that case, the algorithm favours photovoltaics. because they will likely provide the less expensive electricity over time.
But, the fight for the hydrogen economy is far from over. because regenerative electricity is used to break down water to produce the petrol that is in demand. Electrolysis is the name of this procedure. According to research done by Stolten’s team, the water needed for this should unquestionably come from seawater desalination. Diverting even a little amount of drinking water from reserves is forbidden for ethical reasons. A transport network and an electrolysis have also been virtually constructed thanks to the researcher and his team entering all the data and procedures into their system. Naturally, related ports were also considered.
According to Solomon Nwabueze Agbo, “We have discovered numerous hotspots for hydrogen generation in a number of nations in western and southern Africa.” The “H2 Atlas-Africa” project is coordinated by a physicist from Forschungszentrum Jülich. According to our findings, the area is typically desirable for the production of green hydrogen.