Africa and Europe Set Out to Harness Green Hydrogen Potential for Human Welfare
In the first “AEEP Energy Talks” webinar, Africa and Europe outline options for a joint Green Hydrogen Roadmap
Bonn, Germany – 12 November, 2020 – High-level representatives from Africa and Europe discussed the first steps towards a potential joint and values-based Green Hydrogen Roadmap. The exchange was the first in a series of webinars organized by the Secretariat of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership, “AEEP Energy Talks”, which provide a bicontinental platform for experts on transformational energy topics.
Green hydrogen is seen as one of the key technologies to fully phase out ,carbonemissions as it is well-suited to decarbonise sectors like shipping, aviation or heavy industry. Both continents regard it essential to the success of their energy transformations and have started to invest in the technology. With a view that goes beyond the technical potential, Africa and Europe are faced with an exceptional opportunity to tie green hydrogen deployment to sustainable development.
In his opening remarks, the Director of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, Mr. Cheikh Bedda highlighted the huge potential of green hydrogen in transforming the African energy sector and the economy. He stated that “Green Hydrogen, as a clean and renewable energy resource provides Africa with multiple options to enhance access to modern energy services to achieve its goals for economic transformation, social development, increased export revenues, regional integration and trade as well as industrialisation as stipulated in the AU Agenda 2063”.
Speaking about the unique prospects green hydrogen offers in the energy transition agenda for both Africa and Europe, Mr. Georgios Pantoulis, Deputy Head of Unit for Sustainable Energy and Climate Change, DG DEVCO of the European Commission highlighted green hydrogen provides a significant opportunity for both continents to elevate and align their energy and climate agendas. He called for both continents to strengthen their cooperation and create an enabling environment to maximize the benefits from this resource.
In his presentation, Mr. Johan van den Berg, Head of Secretariat of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership remarked that “In the rapid and exciting development of green hydrogen, mutually beneficial outcomes exist for Africa and Europe that could make tangible contributions to human well-being”.
The Webinar discussed the findings of the Report prepared by the Africa-EU Energy Partnership in collaboration with the Florence School of Regulation on “Green Hydrogen: Bridging the Energy Transition in Africa and Europe”, which explores various benefits and opportunities for both Africa and Europe to enhance cooperation to develop markets for green hydrogen.
The stakeholders and experts during the webinar highlighted that green hydrogen may become a major commodity in the post fossil-fuel age due to its anticipated vital role in climate change mitigation and the rapid market expansion taking place across the globe. The stakeholders and experts also recommended strategies that could accelerate the uptake of green hydrogen in both continents including mobilization of relevant stakeholders, addressing regulatory and policy barriers, capacity building and training as well as developing a roadmap for creating and expanding markets for green hydrogen.
The outcomes of the Webinar will be used by the Africa-EU Energy Partnership to further continue identifying strategic areas for co-operation between Africa and Europe in developing green hydrogen technologies.