Nigeria and other African countries eyeing global hub status for hydrogen

In the midst of campaigns for energy transformation, international actors in the sector have referred to Africa as a potential net exporter of hydrogen energy, with the German government already encouraging Nigeria to advance in developing its hydrogen resources.

While some stakeholders believe that the industrialization of Africa on a sustainable basis and an increase in GDP of 12% are already underway in Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) claimed that hydrogen’s potential in Africa is a game-changer.

While the globe produces roughly 120 million tonnes of hydrogen annually, Nigeria has a surplus of natural gas, which accounts for 95% of that production.

This development gives Nigeria’s hydrogen industry a positive outlook, particularly at a time when the nation is looking for funding for its $1.9 trillion energy transition plan with a concentration on gas.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH launched what may turn into Nigeria’s road map toward green hydrogen last year through the first German-Nigerian Symposium on Green Hydrogen.

At the program, Oliver Rentschler, the German Federal Foreign Office’s Director-General for Climate Diplomacy, Economic Affairs, and Technology, emphasized that the collaboration would move beyond a discourse into realities that would enable the spread of renewable energies between Nigeria and Germany.

Green hydrogen continues to be a crucial route for Africa’s energy transition, according to Rabia Ferroukhi, Director of Knowledge Policy and Finance (KPFC) at IRENA, who was speaking at the organization’s 13th Assembly.

According to Ferroukhi, it is crucial for the continent to consider the bankability of the projects and to ensure a stable fiscal and regulatory picture in order to realize its potential.

While high production costs, poor infrastructure, energy loss, sustainability, and other issues are crucial to the development of hydrogen throughout the world, Ferroukhi thinks that setting up the policy and business in Africa correctly may be the only way to allow for investment both inside and outside of the continent.

The aim of IRENA is to support the development of national hydrogen strategies, the identification of policy objectives, the establishment of governance and enabling policies, and the development of a system for the origin assurance of green hydrogen.

A global fund for hydrogen from oil majors may be conceivable to support a developing market, according to Zainab Aliyu Datti, Project and Business Advisor for the GIZ Project Development Programme, who earlier expressed worries about how to establish a market for hydrogen in Nigeria.

Eli Bala, director-general of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), said to The Guardian that although the nation does not yet have a national policy on hydrogen, it may do so in the future.

The market for hydrogen is expected to reach $700 billion by 2050 as decarbonization intensifies, but countries in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other nations, are expected to benefit.

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