Namibia, Germany form green hydrogen partnership
The Director General of the National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze and Germany’s Federal Research Minister, Anja Karliczek, agreed to establish a hydrogen partnership between Germany and Namibia and signed a joint communiqué of intent in Windhoek and Berlin on Wednesday.
According to Karliczek, Namibia has enormous potential for scaling up a green hydrogen industry. It has a lot of vast unused space. She said high wind speeds in Namibia mean that the generation of wind power is particularly profitable.
“Solar power harbours an even greater potential thanks to over 3,500 hours of sunshine per year. This is almost twice as much as Germany has to offer. We therefore think that one kilogramme of hydrogen from Namibia will eventually cost between €1.50 and €2.00. This would be the most competitive price in the world which would be a huge locational advantage for hydrogen ‘made in Namibia’,” she said.
The National Hydrogen Council estimates that hydrogen demand of German industry alone (excluding refineries) will amount to 1.7 billion tons per year – and this demand is likely to grow further.
“This estimate underlines that we need large amounts of hydrogen and we need it quickly and at low cost. Namibia can provide both,” Karliczek said.
Germany’s Research Ministry will provide up to €40 million in funding from its economic stimulus package for cooperation within the framework of this partnership.
Dr Stefan Kaufmann, Innovation Commissioner for Green Hydrogen and Member of the German federal parliament, said they are planning to carry out a feasibility study and use its results to implement joint pilot projects and to strengthen capacity building for training skilled professionals on the ground.
The feasibility study is aimed at exploring the potential of a green hydrogen industry, including innovative seawater desalination technologies, in Namibia as well as possibilities of hydrogen export to Germany.
“Based on this study, we will use pilot projects to test schemes for green hydrogen production in Namibia and for hydrogen transport. We will take into account local needs by placing a particular focus on seawater desalination. At the same time, we will also look into the opportunities offered by innovative seawater electrolysis where green hydrogen is generated directly from seawater. Exchange programmes for students and experts as well as scholarships for Namibian students will help us to promote the generation and exchange of expert knowledge,” Dr Kaufmann said.
Namibia was one of the first countries in Southern Africa to recognize the potential of a green hydrogen industry and will present its own hydrogen strategy in November.
Kandjoze said Namibia is particularly susceptible to climate change, adding that two thirds of existing installed generation capacity relies on hydroelectricity, which in turn relies on rain and the flowing rivers at Ruacana.
Kandjoze said Namibia and Germany declared an intent to deploy resources to provide scholarships for young Namibian scientists and engineers to hone their skills with fellow German and indeed global like-minded peers as they seek to find a breakthrough in related fields.
“We have resolved to provide funding to feasibility studies and pilot plants that will deploy cutting edge technology to bring us closer to economically viable solutions that will unlock the potential defined by our scientists,” he said.
Namibian Ambassador to Germany, H.E Martin Andjaba; Germany’s Federal Research Minister, Anja Karliczek and Dr Stefan Kaufmann, Innovation Commissioner for Green Hydrogen and Member of the Bundestag.