Namibia, a desert African country, one of the most affected by global warming, wants to cover its own needs by producing solar energy, and has even exported it since 2030, thus helping to decarbonise Europe through the production of hydrogen and ammonia.

“The ambition is to become an industrial synthetic fuel incubator” from renewable sources by starting to produce solar energy, then green hydrogen (green hydrogen) and decarbonized ammonia, “James Mnupe, Namibia’s economic adviser, told AFP.

Namibian leaders have come to Europe to “offer their extraordinary sunshine”, said Mnupe in Rotterdam, where he participated in the World Hydrogen Salon, and presented his development strategy in Paris.

The South African country wants to fit into the energy goals presented by the European Union on Wednesday in order to get rid of its dependence on Russian gas.

If the EU wants to produce 10 million tonnes of hydrogen from renewable sources by 2030, it is counting on 10 million tonnes of imports to replace coal, oil and gas in some industrial sectors and in transport.

“The EU understands that it cannot produce 20 million tonnes of hydrogen in Europe, that is impossible, we do not have enough sun and we do not have enough wind, so we will need a partner in Africa,” said Jorgo Hacimarkakis, Hydrogen Europe’s secretary general.

In November, Namibia began activities by selecting an operator for its first solar power generation unit. She chose the consortium “Hyphen”, which consists of the international investment fund (Nicholas Holdings) and the German energy group “Enertrag”. The plant is expected to produce 5,000 MW from 2026 at the Tsau Khaeb site.

The basic formula for production is as follows: solar energy produced on site through an electrolyzer to break down water molecules (H2O) from desalinated seawater to produce hydrogen (H) which is called green because it comes from renewable sources.

This green hydrogen is then mixed with nitrogen that exists in its natural state in the air, to produce ammonia (NH3), which can also be fuel for certain types of large ships that are currently being developed. It will also be used in the production of agricultural fertilizers or to facilitate the transport of hydrogen “to Rotterdam”, Germany or South Africa.

Droughts are killing us

All this is achievable, of course, provided that Namibia attracts enough investments from European companies.

If Namibia achieves self-sufficiency in electricity production, “it could become an exporter,” Mnupe said.

“Today we import between 60 and 70 percent of our electricity, mostly from the Republic of South Africa,” and self-sufficiency “would be the first step towards economic emancipation.”

He points out that they want to make Namibia attractive for investments so that the private sector would dare to take risks and enter such a business.

Namibia will announce the “first investment calls” at the summit in Davos from May 22 to 26, he announced.

He notes that his homeland is among the countries “most affected by global warming”. Therefore, all products will come from “renewable energies” and CO2 emissions will be zero.

“We have fires, droughts are killing us, and we depend on hydropower,” he said.

“Chinese companies are already knocking on our door and want to be involved,” he said, announcing: “We are ready to work with anyone who is willing to participate in our vision of Namibia’s industrialization.”

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