Challenges Facing the Hydrogen Economy Are Easy To Overcome If African Nations Unite

As the world seeks solutions to climate change and the intolerable carbon emissions, Africa is also not left out in the efforts. Like many other countries in other continents, many African nations now have plans or are undertaking green hydrogen-related projects. However, exploring green hydrogen as a clean alternative has been challenging for most African countries despite their enormous endowment with renewable energy sources. While such challenges are teething, sustainability enthusiasts argue that it is possible to overcome them through unity.

Arguably, if the abundant renewable resources in Africa are exploited efficiently using the right technologies, it is possible to develop one of the greatest hydrogen economies in the world. Indeed, there are indications that if exploited well, Africa’s green hydrogen can meet the continent’s energy needs both domestic and industrial. In addition, the hydrogen produced can also be exported to markets in Europe. That is, however, possible only if Africa unites to deal with possible challenges in the rapidly growing green hydrogen sector.

The message of unity has been preached by many with the latest call being from the chairperson of Africa Hydrogen Partnership, Innocent Uwuijaren. He made the remarks while giving his submissions during a recent e-conference that was organized by Africa Solar Industry Association. “The key to this is alliance if we want to maximize the opportunities before us,” said Uwuijaren in his address. His major call was a request to form an alliance where different countries work together to create and tap opportunities locally while developing their respective hydrogen economies.

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Notably, while many issues were raised during the just concluded conference, the message that came out was the call to unite. That is, Africa’s hydrogen economy can only thrive if the potential obstacles are dealt with through joint efforts. Key areas that need collaboration include technological innovations, raising sufficient finance, and building capacity, especially in the skilled workforce. If Africa unites to tackle these areas, then there is no doubt that it will greatly benefit from its abundant renewable energy sources that can help build its emerging hydrogen economy.

Even with the existing challenges in the African hydrogen sector, many people are expressing their interest in sourcing hydrogen from the continent. For instance, the European Union plans to source about 10 million tons of imported hydrogen over the next decade from the African region. According to Uwuijaren, the move to get it from Africa will reduce its dependence on Russia and Ukraine which have in the recent past been reduced to war zones.

To tap the many opportunities, analysts and experts in the energy sector have called on Africa to not only focus on production. In addition, it should find ways of moving down the value chain. More precisely, the African continent has been urged to diversify its activities to avoid being an exporter of cheap hydrogen overseas, yet there exist massive opportunities for value-added hydrogen. Generally, with the right partnerships and projects, it is possible to make progress and enjoy the opportunities associated with green hydrogen.

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