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EIB study confirms €1 trillion Africa's Green Hydrogen potential by 2035

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European Investment Bank (EIB), along with International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the African Union (AU), has unveiled a study into Africa's green hydrogen potential translating to 50 million tons a year by 2035. This can help secure global energy supply, create jobs, decarbonize heavy industry, enhance global competitiveness and transform access to clean water and sustainable energy, according to the report. 

The "Africa's Extraordinary Green Hydrogen Potential" report represents the first detailed research of the feasible development of green hydrogen across the continent. The new study combines analysis of investment opportunities focusing on three hubs namely Mauritania - Morocco, southern Africa and Egypt, with a roadmap of technical and financial solutions to unlock commercial development.

RELATED: COP27: Egypt in spotlight for green hydrogen investments

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, said "Africa has the best renewable energy in the world and scaling up production of green hydrogen can transform access to low-cost electricity and clean water. Unlocking Africa's green hydrogen potential will require close cooperation between public, private and financial partners". 

He added, "The new study outlines what can be achieved and what needs to be done. The European Investment Bank is pleased to work with African and international partners to enable large scale green hydrogen to become a reality."

According to the study, large scale green hydrogen generation will enable Africa to supply 25 million tons of green hydrogen to global energy markets, equivalent to 15 percent of current gas used in the European Union.

The study was previewed at the Mauritania Pavilion at COP 27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt held last month. The analysis highlights the benefits of harnessing solar power to create green hydrogen in the aforementioned four African hubs. 

The solar-powered green hydrogen is economically viable and can be produced at less than € 2 per kilogram, cheaper than traditional fossil fuel energy, and cater both for local energy demand and allow green hydrogen to be exported to global markets, the report claims. 

The research suggests three requirements to enable 50 million tons of green hydrogen to be produced in Africa by 2035:

  • National planning, regulation and incentive schemes need to mobilise private sector investment.
  • Pilot projects need to show successful green hydrogen generation, storage, distribution and use at both demonstration and commercial scale.
  • Market-based partnerships are needed to enable mass-scale domestic and international off-take and demand for green hydrogen, and increase cooperation to design, finance, build and operate green hydrogen production, storage and distribution infrastructure.

Most importantly, the study outlines how production and transmission of green hydrogen can lead to a € 1 Trillion investment yielding 7 exajoules of energy (versus a consumption in Africa of 19.9 exajoules in 2021), and a correlative massive increase in GDP, creating hundreds of thousands of permanent and skilled jobs across Africa.

Large scale green hydrogen investment will transform supply of clean water in areas regularly impacted by drought and chronic water shortages and will help empower communities, it adds. 

RELATED: COP27: Hydrogen Day marked massive push for Green Hydrogen ecosystem

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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