By Jonathan Ntege Lubwama
- HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy to construct a $9.4B hydrogen power project in Namibia
- Namibia wants to position itself as a key player in the global renewable energy market that’s expected to reach $1.9T by 2030
Africa’s new hydrogen super power country could be none other than the tiny nation of Namibia. The country’s government announced a notice of award to HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy, as its preferred bidder to develop the $9.4 billion large scale and vertically integrated green hydrogen project in the Tsau/Khaeb National Park. The project will produce 300,000 tons of green hydrogen every year, as Namibia plans to become a major player in the global renewable energy market that raked in $881billion in 2020, and will hit $1.9 trillion by 2030 according to Allied Market Research.
Why This Matters: Namibia has experienced recurrent droughts which are caused by climate change so it is important to establish a green economy. The country has one of the highest solar irradiance potential in Africa, with the potential to capture 10 hours of strong sunlight per day for 300 days a year and has access to billions of cubic meters of seawater. The license with HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy allows it to construct and operate the project for 40 years in Namibia.
It’s possible that this project will reduce Namibia’s dependence on South Africa. Currently, 40% of the power used in the country is imported from its more powerful southern neighbor. Not to mention this is part of a much bigger development fueled by green hydrogen that the government hopes to find funding for, expanding into agriculture, logistics and energy.
Let’s break down exactly how hydrogen power works: Renewable energy from the sun and wind will be used to separate hydrogen molecules from desalinated water. Those hydrogen molecules in their pure form or in derivative green ammonia can make up a variety of products, including sustainable fuels.
What’s Next: Agreements are already signed with Germany, Belgium and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, so Namibia’s impact is set to be international. The project will take about four years to build, and costs of $9.4 billion will be a stretch for the country’s $10.7 billion GDP. Once fully developed, it will boost Namibia’s Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) and also curb unemployment which currently stands at 55%. About 15,000 jobs will be created and 90% of these will be filled by Namibians.
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