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Namibia Towards A Green Hydrogen Hub In Africa

The Economic Association of Namibia (EAN), in collaboration with the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board of Namibia (NIPDB), with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) proudly announced the Namibia Green Hydrogen Conference 2022 recently. The conference will take place on the 16th-17th August 2022 and will be entirely funded with support from the private sector and non-governmental organizations. It will be a platform for Namibian stakeholders to deliberate and unpack the green hydrogen industry, while promoting Namibia as a competitive investment destination. The conference, which will bring together policy makers and Parliamentarians, the Private Sector, Parliamentarians, Academics, Civil Society and the Public.

Green hydrogen is becoming a critical source of energy in global energy markets, playing an increasingly central role in the transition to a green energy future. With usage in diverse areas such as transport, manufacturing, and the chemical industry, green hydrogen is expected to play a central role in transforming global industries as countries around the world are seeking to decarbonize their economies. Global green hydrogen market size was valued at US$ 0.3 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$9.8 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54.7% from 2021 to 2028.

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The most advanced method of producing hydrogen gas on an industrial scale is called electrolysis, a process that uses electrical energy to split water into hydrogen atoms and oxygen. To count as green hydrogen, the electricity used to run the electrolysis process must come from renewable sources, leading to close to zero carbon emissions in the production process.

With their abundant renewable energy sources, African countries are well positioned to become green hydrogen leaders. Namibia in particular, with its excellent sunshine and wind conditions, combined with abundant seawater, has great potential to leapfrog the rest of the continent and develop a sustainable green hydrogen industrial base, driving socio-economic growth, creating jobs, and ending energy poverty in the country.

 

Against that background, in 2021 the country has taken the first step to place itself at the forefront of Africa's aspirations for green hydrogen production by awarding HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy to develop the country’s first green hydrogen project. The company is expected to develop a major, integrated high-capacity hydrogen project at Tsau //Khaeb National Park valued at US$ 9.4 billion. The project is expected to eventually produce 300,000 tons of raw hydrogen annually for the domestic, regional, and international markets. It is estimated that this landmark project will create 15,000 direct jobs in the four years of integrated construction and 3,000 direct jobs over a 40-year period while contributing to other efforts to promote economic stability.

 

The project forms an integral part of Namibia’s development plans within the context of the Southern Corridor Development Initiative as outlined in the Economic Advancement Pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II.
This milestone project and the related eventual development of a full-scale green hydrogen industry present enormous upstream and downstream opportunities for Namibia’s private sector along the value chain. Upstream opportunities exist in areas such as wind turbines and solar panels assembly, IT services, Consulting, and Water provision, while downstream prospects range from the production of fertilisers, green ammonia, green zinc, and diamonds as well as the construction of port and rail networks.
While Namibia’s abundant renewable resources set the country apart with regard to its investment potential for green hydrogen, the full-scale development of a green hydrogen industry will require the country to have in place legal provisions, infrastructure and human resources that will turn the massive investments in this area into broad-based economic growth.

 

Developing this capacity will require planning and broad-based consultations with key players in the Namibia economy in both the public and private sector.

 

In light of the above, the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) in partnership with the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) and the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) aim to organise a large-scale Conference to bring together key role-players in Namibia’s green hydrogen ecosystem to exchange views on the potential, opportunities, and risks of establishing a green hydrogen industry in the country.