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Energy Partnership

The EU Global Gateway Strategy Boosts Bicontinental Collaboration on Energy Partnerships, Infrastructure and Green Hydrogen

Knowledge Facilitation Showcasing Joint Action

The long-established partnership between Africa and Europe on energy is being renewed and strengthened through the European Union’s Global Gateway Strategy and especially the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package of 150 billion euros that focuses on supporting Africa for a strong, inclusive, green and digital recovery and transformation.

In a three-piece article series for the African Energy Portal (AEP), Johan van den Berg, Head of Secretariat, Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), considers the international climate and energy landscapes, and how the Global Gateway Strategy can boost the African–European collaboration on energy, infrastructure and green hydrogen.

In the first instalment of the series, van den Berg explains how climate science is informing long-term policy and planning, as can be seen by the ambitions outlined in the European Green Deal and Africa’s development framework Agenda 2063. Guided by the EU’s Global Gateway Strategy that focuses on energy and climate, education, transport, health, and the digital sector, the two continents can become global leaders and place sustainability at the heart of future development, van den Berg notes.

A concrete example of building a sustainable future in Africa, is through the strengthening of electricity interconnections to enable the African energy transition, van den Berg writes in the second article . He stresses the importance of installing energy generation assets that are relevant for the African context. Van den Berg also links the need for sector coupling in both Africa and Europe with Europe’s efforts to support Africa via additional renewable energy generation capacity , enhanced electricity interconnections and expanding transmission lines. These objectives interlink with work that the EU is already supporting on the Continental Power System Masterplan (CMP) and the Africa Single Electricity Market (AfSEM), both initiatives that aim to create an integrated electricity system between the African power pools.

Finally, in the third article, van den Berg highlights the fundamental role green hydrogen will play in the global energy transition, and the potential this green hydrogen development has in Africa. One of three components in the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative focuses specifically on how Africa and Europe can strengthen the green hydrogen sectors on both continents. Considering the availability of land, sun, and wind resources in Africa, the continent could produce green hydrogen more cost-effectively than most many other regions. Van den Berg notes that given the outcomes of the AEEP Forum 2022, and the upcoming COP27, Africa and Europe must focus on creating an environment that encourages investments in green hydrogen as well as skills development and capacity building in the energy sector as a whole.

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The AEEP is supported by its Steering Group: