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Africa Priming for the U.S.$12 Trillion Global Hydrogen Market

  • Jan 4, 2022

Green hydrogen energy will price out petrol and diesel from the market.

AHP targets the commercialisation of large-scale hydrogen technology across Africa.

ESI Africa has valued the global market of hydrogen to be at US$12 trillion by 2050.

With estimates showing that the global hydrogen market will hit US$12 trillion by 2050, Africa is preparing to tap into this clean energy sector.

Players in the sector are confident that clean, renewable and sustainable green or natural hydrogen will price out petrol and diesel from the market between the years 2025 and 2030. ESI Africa has valued the global market of hydrogen to be at US$12 trillion by 2050.

The African Hydrogen Partnership Trade Association (AHP) has made public its fourteen pioneer organisations which are spread across 11 countries: Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Mali, Zimbabwe, France, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Italy. The main focus of AHP has been the commercialisation of large-scale hydrogen technology across Africa.

What Is Hydrogen Technology and why is it important?

Hydrogen technology is the use of hydrogen aimed at decarbonising the energy sector. Hydrogen is harvested using the following three processes and is then used in hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles.

Electrolysis process- Water is separated into Hydrogen and Oxygen using electricity.

Solar-Wind process- Light is used to produce hydrogen from the photosynthetic activity of bacteria and algae.

Thermal process- Steam reacts with hydrocarbons to produce Hydrogen

The harvested hydrogen can also be used for cooking. Hydrogen Technology will help the African continent in a number of ways.

It will reduce the dependency on foreign currencies from the importation of refined crude and fossil fuels.

It will reduce carbon emissions significantly since hydrogen combustion produces water vapour only.

Hydrogen technology requires lower investment and will generate income for governments in Africa from green hydrogen exportation.

It will create new jobs for Africans

It will reduce deforestation for firewood by providing cheaper hydrogen cylinders for cooking.

AHP has been expanding rapidly since the onset of 2021.

Bluenergy Revolution, Anglo American, HDF Energy, Hydrox Holdings, Gencell, Hydroma, Hypower, Mobility Africa Energy, Jacob Lawren Limited, Port of Rotterdam, iH2-Ivoire Hydrogène, Sable Chemicals, and RTS Africa Engineering have all sent representatives.

AHP aims to analyse and realize the potential of green or natural hydrogen exportation in Africa, as well as to kick-start the establishment of hydrogen economies and production in the continent. It also seems to create a domestic market for hydrogen, hoping to interest foreign investors in the energy sector.

Most African regions have the capacity to produce low-cost, economically competitive green or natural hydrogen, which has a minimal effect on biodiversity and bio-habitat. It is exciting to see our partnerships gaining momentum in influence and numbers," said AHP chairman, Innocent Uwuijaren.

The African Hydrogen Partnership is the only association covering a larger part of the continent that pushes for the production and use of native hydrogen, hydrogen-containing chemicals such as green methanol and green ammonia, fuel cell innovations, and hydrogen-related business potentialities in Africa.

From a political perspective, Uwuijaren explained that the creation of hydrogen economies would significantly reduce importation of fairly expensive fossil fuels and instead generate revenue from green energy importation as well as local consumption, generating domestic wealth and social and economic development.

In response to COP26, AHP believes that green or natural hydrogen generation in Africa is indispensable in realising the net-zero carbon dioxide emission goal.

It will take a while for most African countries to embrace hydrogen technology. We are confident that clean, renewable, and sustainable green or natural hydrogen will price out petrol and diesel from the market between the years 2025 and 2030, "added Uwuijaren, as he extended a hand to organisations in Africa and across the world to join the AHP movement.

Read: E-government system saves Nigeria N126 billion from corruption

The principles of AHP are:

-Support and gear up towards achieving climate targets outlined in the Paris agreement and the United Nations SDGs.

-Popularize natural and green hydrogen as clean, sustainable, and renewable energy to transit the world to a net zero-emissions globe.

-Advocate for fair business practices in hydrogen industries and facilitate the creation of hydrogen value chains in Africa.

-Corporate with other stakeholders in hydrogen generation, consumption, and transportation and promoting firm African hydrogen industries.

To realise the African hydrogen economy, AHP is set to:

Construct renewable power to gas energy farms to produce green energy products (green ammonia and green methanol);

Construct hydrogen hubs on major trans-African highways, ports, train and bus stations to fuel heavy goods vehicles, trains and buses that use hydrogen fuel cells.

Export green or natural hydrogen.

The association also encourages African governments to give concessions to green hydrogen production and exportation to nations that import energy from Africa. This will increase foreign currencies flowing into African economies, raising the Gross Domestic Product.

Africa is embracing green energy. ESI Africa has valued the global market of hydrogen at US$12 trillion by 2050.

Egypt currently has the world's largest green ammonia production farm, with chemical giant Fertiglobe producing up to 90 kilotons of green ammonia in Ain Sokhna, Egypt.

In 2020, Germany injected US$35 million. In a German-Tunisia alliance aimed at, among other things, setting up a hydrogen production unit in Tunisia. South Africa also received approximately US$10 billion at the recently concluded COP26 to aid in green energy investment.

Namibia signed an MoU between Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) and the Port of Rotterdam, positioning the country as a hub for the production and distribution of green energy for Europe and the world at large. The Port of Rotterdam estimates a 20 million tonne demand for hydrogen per year at Namport by 2050.

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