SASSCAL participated in the high level green hydrogen e-conference in Africa. The e-conference was hosted by the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) from 24 to 25 March 2021. The e-conference organiser, and CEO of AFSIA, Mr John van Zuylen has brought together heads of relevant institutions and high-level international experts in the industry including the Head of Energy and Green Hydrogen Technologies Division, from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – Dr. Christoph Röevekamp, Prof. Dr. AD van Wijk from TU Delft, Mr. Vincent Oldenbroek, Secretary General of Africa Hydrogen Partnerships and SASSCAL Executive Director – Dr. Jane Olwoch. The main objective of the e-conference was to learn from the best experts in the industry about the potential of green hydrogen for economic growth in Africa and the role solar can play.
At the conclusion of the day one of the the e-conference, Dr. Christoph Röevekamp made a presentation titled “deep-dive on Germany’s Green hydrogen agenda with Africa”. He underlined Germany’s activities and scientific and technological cooperation agreements, bilateral calls and MoUs with African partners in the field of green hydrogen, climate change, land use and water desalination, etc.
During his presentation, Dr. Röevekamp presented on the ‘Africa strategy of the BMBF’ which was launched in 2018 with a funding opportunity of about 300 million euros for cooperation with academics, scientists and research institutions all over the continent. He also shed light on the ‘Germany’ National Green Hydrogen Strategy’. The Strategy, he mentioned is a coherent framework for the generation, transport and use of hydrogen. It sets out the steps that are needed to meet the German climate targets, create new value chains for German economy and foster energy policy cooperation at international level. Green energy and green hydrogen is key to sustainable economy, new job opportunities and fight against climate change, Dr. Roevekamp added.
Dr. Röevekamp further stated that Africa’s energy transition is crucial to the global achievement of the Paris Agreement’s pledges. As Germany phases out coal and nuclear energy in the next years, Africa also has the chance to take the sustainable path. Now is the time to set up the green energy supply for the future, so the opportunity is there to do leap forging. Moreover, Dr. Röevekamp urged that “we need international standards and certification of green hydrogen with the collaboration of African and other partners around the world”. Furthermore, Dr Röevekamp highlighted about the H2Atlas-Africa project in sub-Saharan Africa, as a comprehensive study which is aiming to create a database to develop green hydrogen driven economy to support decision makers, politicians and scientists. The initial outcome of the project will be an interactive Green Hydrogen Atlas identifying Green Hydrogen hotspots in the region, where suitable locations for the production of green hydrogen in sub-Saharan Africa will be determined. He also acknowledged the partnership between SADC and ECOWAS countries for this great initiative.
In delivering his keynote speech Dr. AD van Wijk, Professor of the Future Energy Systems at TU Delft highlighted the overall view of global development of green hydrogen generation, emphasising on levelised cost of electricity for solar and wind, hydrogen production cost, transportation and storage.
Dr. van Wijk emphasised that “hydrogen is necessary to decarbonize hard to abate sectors but even more important, Hydrogen will become the global carbon-free energy carrier to store and transport cheap solar and wind electricity all over the world”. He also concluded his presentation by stressing that “Africa in many places has tremendous renewable energy resources and space, that positions Africa on the brink of becoming the renewable energy exporter of the world”.
The virtual panel discussion, titled ‘technical considerations of green hydrogen production in Africa’ was led by Mr. Vincent Oldenbroek. The panel discussion speakers were Dr. Jane Olwoch, Thomas Roos – senior CSIR researcher, Ayoub Hirtand – Head of department of green hydrogen at IRESEN, Daniel Pasker – Sales Manager Southern Africa at JAsolar. The discussions were related to identification of green hydrogen production potential in Africa, Infrastructure, challenges, benefits and the creation of a hydrogen value chain. During the panel discussion, Dr Olwoch also shed light on the H2Atlas of green hydrogen potential project in SADC funded by BMBF. The online event was attended by over 528 participants from several countries.