The European Union (EU) is preparing an agreement with Namibia to support the southern African country’s nascent green hydrogen industry while increasing its imports of the fuel to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy, according to EU and Namibian officials.
The potential deal will see Namibia harness its solar and wind energy to produce green hydrogen, an alternative energy source hailed as a less emissions-heavy substitute for fossil fuels, which will serve to supplement the EU’s consumption of grey and blue hydrogen, which is produced using gas.
Hydrogen is used primarily in the EU’s heavy industry and transportation sectors, with the bloc having stated in May 2022 that it plans to import a minimum of ten million tons of green hydrogen by 2030 while producing an additional ten million tons within the continent itself.
Namibia and the EU have indicated their intent on signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, being held in Egypt in November, with Director General of Namibia’s National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze, indicating that work was underway on a green hydrogen deal. The deal is expected to include a provision that grants the EU access to minerals in Namibia, with the bloc having planned a number of geological projects to explore the country’s resources.
In an effort to reduce its reliance on Russian oil, gas and coal, the EU signed an MoU last month with Israel and Egypt on gas imports, demonstrating the bloc’s long-term commitment to opening the door to partnerships in Africa as an alternative source of energy.
Namibia has the potential to become Africa’s first green hydrogen export hub, with the southern African country’s government having approached Europe with plans to export three million tons of green hydrogen per year as part of its post-Covid-19 economic recovery program.
The government of Germany has agreed to invest $41.7 million in Namibia’s green hydrogen industry, with German renewable energy company Enertag having formed a joint venture, Hyphen, with project development company, Nicholas Holdings, to produce 300,000 tons of green hydrogen per year by 2030 using 5-6 GW of renewable generation capacity and 3 GW of electrolyzer capacity.