Nam, Germany seal N$700m partnership

By Business Reporter

GERMANY has become the first country to officially form a hydrogen partnership with Namibia with its Federal Research Ministry agreeing to provide up to 40 million euros (N$700 million) in funding from the economic stimulus package for cooperation within the framework of this partnership.

Germany’s Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek and Director General of the National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze last week agreed to the deal and signed a Joint Communiqué of Intent (JCoI) in Windhoek and Berlin.

“Namibia has enormous potential for scaling up a green hydrogen industry. It has a lot of vast unused space.
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High wind speeds in Namibia mean that the generation of wind power is particularly profitable. Solar power harbours an even greater potential thanks to over 3 500 hours of sunshine per year. This is almost twice as much as Germany has to offer,” Karliczek said adding that the National Hydrogen Council estimates that hydrogen demand of German industry alone (excluding refineries) will amount to 1.
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7 billion tons per year – and this demand is likely to grow further.

“This estimate underlines that we need large amounts of hydrogen and we need it quickly and at low cost. Namibia can provide both,” he added.

Echoing this view, Dr Stefan Kaufmann, Innovation Commissioner for Green Hydrogen and Member of the Bundestag in Germany added that a hydrogen-based economy will be a success if joint actions are taken at an international level to unlock the potential of hydrogen as an energy carrier of the future.

“Only then will we be able to deliver on the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. This is why international cooperation in research and innovation for green hydrogen technologies is such a central pillar of the German Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy,” Kaufmann said.

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Kandjoze who is also the chairperson of the Green Hydrogen Council (GHC) of Namibia underlined that Namibia knows too well, that the work of combating climate change starts today.

“Namibia is particularly susceptible to climate change, two thirds of our existing installed generation capacity relies on hydroelectricity, which in turn relies on rain and the flowing rivers at Ruacana. According to the latest labour force survey, 23 percent of our eligible workers depend on agriculture – prolonged droughts such as the one we recently experienced are a harbinger of catastrophic news for many of our fellow citizens. We have to take action today!

“With the daunting challenge in mind, the leadership of our two countries has declared an intent to deploy resources to provide scholarships for young Namibian scientists and engineers to hone their skills with fellow German and indeed global like-minded peers as they seek to find a breakthrough in related fields. We have resolved to provide funding to feasibility studies and pilot plants that will deploy cutting edge technology to bring us closer to economically viable solutions that will unlock the potential defined by our scientists,” he said.

Namibia intends to be able to export green hydrogen even before 2025. Due to the country’s low population density and moderate population growth, Namibia will be able to meet its own demand for renewable energy and green hydrogen quickly.