The European Union is considering an agreement with Namibia to promote the country’s fledgling green hydrogen industry and increase its own imports of the fuel, according to EU and Namibian officials, as the union strives to lessen its reliance on Russian energy.
While hydrogen has experienced considerable acceptance in the EU, mostly in heavy industry and transportation, high prices and a lack of infrastructure have hampered usage, and the fuel meets just 2% of the bloc’s energy demands.
The majority of EU usage is of so-called “grey” or “blue” hydrogen generated using gas, which raises prices and emissions. This has made green hydrogen more accessible and renewable energy a priority.
In May, the EU’s energy policy established a target of importing at least 10 tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, with an additional 10 million tonnes generated inside the EU.
According to one EU official, the EU will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Namibia on hydrogen and minerals during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt in November.
Obeth Kandjoze, director-general of the Southwest African country’s National Planning Commission, told Reuters that negotiations for a contract on green hydrogen were beginning, but he declined to comment on minerals.
The European Commission refused to comment on the potential agreement, but did state that it was working on green hydrogen projects in Namibia.
The authorities made no remark on the price of carrying the petroleum. MoUs often include minimal information on import amounts, investments, and delivery schedules, but they are essential political pledges that set the path for long-term partnerships.
The EU inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on gas imports with Israel and Egypt last month as part of its aim to explore alternate energy sources and reduce reliance on Russian oil, gas, and coal. more info
Namibia, one of the world’s driest and least densely inhabited nations, is attempting to utilize its tremendous solar and wind energy potential in order to manufacture green hydrogen.
The German government has already pledged to spend 40 million euros ($41.8 million) in Namibia’s green hydrogen industry, and Belgian and Dutch firms are also present in the nation.
According to the source, direct EU money for Namibia is unlikely, but an agreement might attract additional investors and finance via green bonds.
The EU also wants better access to minerals in Namibia, and planned geological studies to study the riches of a nation roughly the size of France and Germany combined, according to an EU official.
Namibia is one of the priority nations in the EU’s “Global Gateway strategy” the European Union’s counterpart of China’s Belt and Road Initiative to increase infrastructure investment and diplomatic connections with developing countries.