Africa holds USD 1.06 trillion in green hydrogen potential, study reveals

Source: Sputniknews 23.12.2022


In recent years, demand for the green fuel, produced with electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, is surging as the world looks for the alternatives to the largest contributors to global climate change, fossil fuels. According to the IEA, Africa has immense potential to produce hydrogen using its rich renewable resources.


Africa has the potential to produce and transmit €1 trillion ($1.06 trillion) worth of green hydrogen, which will allow it to export the fuel and lead to a massive increase in GDP, boosting the local economy, a new study backed by the European Investment Bank revealed.


According to the study, by harnessing solar energy, a number of countries on the continent could produce 50 million tons of green hydrogen per year by 2035. The fuel will be produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity at a cost of less than two euros per kilogram.


“Solar photovoltaic technology has provided us with the cheapest electricity. It will cost below €2 per kg in several African countries by 2030 [...]. Thanks to this low-cost electricity and decreasing electrolyser costs, the next step is providing access to a clean fuel, cheaper than all the current fossil fuels. It will enable us to decarbonize the power sector and most hard-to-abate sectors - fertilizers, steel manufacturing, and refineries,” said Ajay Mathur, director general of the International Solar Alliance.


The study, in conjunction with the International Solar Alliance and the African Union, combines an analysis of investment opportunities focusing on three hubs: Mauritania - Morocco, southern Africa and Egypt. Even though the plans to produce the fuel are most advanced in these regions, several other African countries ranging from Algeria to Nigeria and Mozambique also have the potential to start production, according to researchers.


The researchers stated that the continent "has the best solar energy in the world" and transforming it into green hydrogen will enhance energy security, cut pollution and carbon emissions by 40%, decarbonize heavy industry and transport, as well as improve access low-cost electricity and clean water.


However, it was mentioned that unlocking Africa's enormous green hydrogen potential requires close cooperation between public, private and financial organizations. The EIB, in its turn, highlighted that it is working with partners across the continent and all over the world in order to exploit its renewable energy potential and therefore produce green hydrogen at scale.