SASSCAL to host Green Hydrogen Symposium

WINDHOEK, Namibia – With the world focussed on implementing different initiatives to combat global emissions in its plight to curb climate change, the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) is set to host a Green Hydrogen Symposium. Sharon Kavhu reports…

Themed, “Green Hydrogen in Practice: Pilot Projects and Y4H2 Scholarships.’’ The event will be held at the Windhoek Country Club in Namibia on the 26th and the 27th of March 2024.

SASSCAL said on Friday that the event was aimed at providing a comprehensive mid-term status report on the ongoing Pilot Projects and the Youth for Green Hydrogen (Y4H2) scholarships in Namibia.

“The symposium serves as a platform for key stakeholders to witness the advancements and achievements in the Green Hydrogen sector in Namibia, showcasing the progress and results of the projects under the Joint Communique of Intent (JCoI).”

Over the two days, the symposium will be characterised by various panel of discussions that explores on the SADC governments preparedness for Green Hydrogen where representatives from Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia will have a discussion session and presentations on skilling the Green Hydrogen economy and academic representations as well as the green hydrogen pilot projects presentations. Moreover, the event would see recipients of the grants for pilot projects presenting their projects, sharing insights into progress, major highlights, challenges, and ongoing capacity building initiatives under the Y4H2 scholarship program.

“Research institutions, industry players from Namibia and Germany, and program coordinator SASSCAL will have a unique opportunity to explore future collaboration opportunities,” said the statement from SASSCAL.

The symposium would be attended by different representatives from the diplomatic community including; representatives from Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia; the Namibian Presidency; BMBF; relevant line ministries; the German Embassy in Windhoek; University of Namibia; Namibia University of Science and Technology; key vocational training centers; project partners in both Namibia and Germany; and industry representatives.

According to SASSCAL, the outcomes of the symposium would contribute to a clear and achievable upscaling or sustainability plan for a Green Hydrogen economy.

Namibia is one of the countries that are aiming to become a green hydrogen superpower in the coming decade by positioning itself as a leader in the emerging markets and an international exporter of green hydrogen. According to the Namibia’s GH2 Country Portal, the country’s aim was to have green hydrogen as an important source for foreign investment and be essential for the country’s energy security and transition.

The portal also noted that Namibia had the potential to offer low-cost green hydrogen production, being second only to Chile owing to its abundance of solar and wind resources. It was against this background that the country was facilitating the research and development in the field of green hydrogen technologies with aid from regional and foreign institutes and support from key partner countries such as Germany.

According to SASSCAL, Namibia and Germany recognised that they had a common interest in the energy sector, specifically in green hydrogen. The two countries were mindful of the valuable cooperation in research over many years, as well as the significant capability of both countries in the production, storage, transport and use of green hydrogen. Both countries had strengthened their bilateral cooperation in the field of energy resources on the basis of mutual social, economic and environmental benefit to promote sustainable development.

The energy transition to zero-emission energy in Namibian would be achieved by developing green hydrogen production capacities, promote a rapid market ramp-up and establish the corresponding value chains – on both the national and international scale. Through bilateral agreement the Namibian Government and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) signed a Joint Communiqué of Intent (JCOI) on the 25th August 2021, to provide funds for the Namibian strategy project, pilot plant projects and its accompanying research and capacity development projects. The JCOI is worth capital expense of €40 million over five years beginning in January 2022.

The partnership seeks to invest efforts on green hydrogen energy in the Namibian nation which will have a positive catalytic effect on Southern Africa’s energy sector. The presence of climate friendly natural resources; key to green hydrogen energy such as wind and sun are fully manifest in Namibia and this is an opportunity that can spear head three notable solutions to the SADC regional problems namely climate management, energy crisis and sustainable economic development.

This cooperation isn’t the first in SADC; BMBF has funded the production of green hydrogen generation potential in SADC. The H2Atlas Africa project is coordinated by SASSCAL in 12 countries in SADC.

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