West Africa is poised to emerge as a formidable player in the global green hydrogen market, with a visionary policy adopted by the region’s heads of state. This policy not only aims to elevate West Africa as a competitive green hydrogen producer but also envisions significant socioeconomic growth for local communities. By 2023, the region aspires to produce 0.5 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually, with a monumental target of 10 million tonnes per year by 2050.
The governments of West African nations have already developed and embraced a comprehensive policy to guide the production of green hydrogen at commercial scales. This policy outlines strategies that will empower countries in the region to harness their immense potential and become major contributors to the global energy transition.
Speaking at the International Conference on Circular Economy, Renewable Energies, and Green Hydrogen in Africa (ICEAR Africa), Dr. Bruno Korgo, the Regional Coordinator for Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen at the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), emphasized the vast renewable energy potential in West Africa. He stated, “We have enough renewable energy potential, sufficient to cover our energy needs and produce green hydrogen in a competitive way to contribute to the global energy transition.”
Dr. Korgo highlighted this potential as an unprecedented opportunity for West African countries, researchers, scientists, stakeholders, and decision-makers to establish themselves as leading green hydrogen producers in the global arena.
In Ghana, a pioneering pilot project has already commenced in Gyankobaa, in the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality. This project encompasses a waste recycling facility designed to convert waste into energy and serves as a testing ground for green hydrogen production.
Dr. Korgo explained that the Gyankobaa Project showcases the project’s feasibility and provides a blueprint for other countries to replicate. He said, “Gyankobaa is one of these projects that we have been implementing to showcase our technologies, business models, and also provide policy guidance to our decision-makers so that they can leverage this information.”
The project’s innovative approach involves generating biogas from organic waste and recycling plastic waste into granules. Furthermore, it explores the application of pyrolysis technology to produce green hydrogen, a testament to the project’s multifaceted commitment to a circular economy.
Ghana’s success story in renewable energy and green hydrogen exemplifies the region’s potential to lead in these transformative technologies. The waste-to-energy project in Ghana reflects a circular economy model designed to treat waste, make it reusable, and develop a comprehensive business model to support infrastructure development.
As West Africa progresses on its journey towards becoming a green hydrogen powerhouse, it not only addresses its energy needs but also contributes significantly to the global shift towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.