A hydrogen strategy for a balanced EU-Africa partnership

(EurActiv, 18 Feb 2022) The EU must work with Africa to develop hydrogen as part of a broader economic and development cooperation agenda moving beyond resource production and extraction, writes Eleonora Moro.

Eleonora Moro is a researcher at the independent climate change think tank E3G. Her work focuses on hydrogen, energy systems and the European Green Deal.

Renewable hydrogen is one of the central discussion topics at the ongoing European Union-African Union summit. The EU has made its ambitions to import hydrogen from the African continent clear: in its 2020 Hydrogen Strategy, the European Commission foresees 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU neighbourhood, a large proportion of which are expected to be in North Africa, by 2030.

Alongside EU plans to import renewable hydrogen from the neighbourhood, member states are setting up bilateral hydrogen initiatives with countries across the African continent. Germany is a frontrunner, having set up a global hydrogen import scheme and bilateral initiatives with African countries, including Morocco, Namibia and South Africa.

EU interest in importing hydrogen from Africa is driven by the assumption that member states will require significant quantities of renewable hydrogen to decarbonise certain economic sectors (for example, the chemicals industry, steel industry and heavy transport sectors such as maritime and aviation) that exceeds cost-effective domestic potential.

External link

EurActiv, 18 Feb 2022: A hydrogen strategy for a balanced EU-Africa partnership