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Monica_55905 Aug 20

Hydrogen: The Bridge between Africa and Europe

Hydrogen: The Bridge between Africa and Europe image
Hydrogen will play a pivotal role in achieving an affordable, clean and sustainable economy. It allows for cost-efficient bulk transport and storage of renewable energy, and can decarbonize energy use in all sectors.
Green hydrogen is one of the top priorities in the energy transition, as it will help to decarbonize several industrial sectors such as steel, fertilizers, petrochemicals, mobility and heating. Furthermore, the development of a green hydrogen economy can also help to integrate more renewables in the energy system, and to contribute to green growth and job creation. In the MENA region, there are abundant natural resources, allowing a high combined capacity factor for solar PV and wind, which is crucial to achieve low prices for the production of green hydrogen. Equally, Europe is a potential off-taker with some of the largest industrial players in the steel and heavy transport industries, combined with an incumbent target for no zero emissions by 2050. In this context, the MENA region has the potential to become a highly scalable ‘Green Powerhouse’ for its own people and industry, as well as for exporting green energy to the world energy markets, as far as local conditions allow.

The ‘Green Hydrogen for a European Green Deal‘ is a market orientation policy paper, which was  co-written by Prof. Ad van Wijk, Member of the Advisory Board of Dii Desert Energy, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe. The paper was presented in April to the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, in charge of the EU Green Deal, and Mrs. Simson, European Commissioner for Energy. The video conference included H.E. Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and Environment of Morocco, Orstedt and 14 CEOs of companies such as EDF, Enel, NEL, tyssenkrupp, and SNAM among others.  
 
Dii Desert Energy, in cooperation with Hydrogen Europe, the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network and others, has significantly contributed to the development of the 2x40 GW Initiative. The proposal found its way in the European Hydrogen Strategy, which was released on 8 July. A target of 40GW electrolyser capacity in Europe by 2030 is part of the strategy, as well as an immediate target of 6GW by 2024.
 
Several impactful studies were recently published  by Dii Desert Energy, among which the ‘North Africa-Europe Hydrogen Manifesto’, co-written by Frank Wouters, Prof. Ad van Wijk and Dr. Badr Ikken, Director General of the Moroccan Research Institute for Solar Energy and News Energies (IRESEN)and the book: ‘Emission free energy from the deserts’, by Paul van Son and Thomas Isenburg (SmartBook Publisher/332 pages/Paperback. Click here).

The Desertec Industrial Initiative - Dii Desert Energy – was launched in 2009. Over the years, it has continued to evolve and develop in line with the spirit of its mission: “No Emissions - energy without harmful emissions”. Desertec 3.0 focus in the first place on renewable energy (both electrons and molecules) and, hence, emission reduction in MENA for the benefit of the local communities and industries.

Under the umbrella of Desertec 3.0, Dii Desert Energy launched among others the MENA Hydrogen Alliance to accelerate the development of value chains for green molecules in the region by bringing together private-public sector actors and academia. Dii Desert Energy acts as an impartial advisor to elaborate business cases and to educate different stakeholders on all aspects of producing, transporting, conversion to green hydrogen and other green molecules, storage and flexible demand. This comprises eventually exporting green molecules to world markets, including Europe. The mission is to connect MENA to Europe by fostering a regional partnership between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East to accelerate the deployment of green hydrogen projects and local value chains.

Read the full paper by Prof. Dr. Ad van Wijk and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, an Initiative led by Hydrogen Europe, Dii Desert Energy, EUGCC Clean Energy Technology Network, African Hydrogen Partnership, Ukrainian Hydrogen Council.