Green hydrogen: fuelling Namibia’s economic future
Like many other countries on the continent, Namibia is plagued by energy poverty which poses an obstacle to the economic growth and development of Namibia and her people. Green hydrogen offers a possible solution by providing reliable energy in the country, creating jobs in the production and distribution of hydrogen and driving economic growth, all while enabling Namibia to export green electrons to the global north and the southern African region.
On Thursday, 26 January 2023, ENSafrica | Namibia (incorporated as Lorentz Angula Inc.) and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) held a panel discussion titled “Leveraging Green Hydrogen to Drive Economic Prosperity in Namibia”. The discussion was opened by RMB Namibia Chairman, Philip Chapman, and moderated by Sector Lead for Mining and Resources at RMB, Fabian Shaanika and ENSafrica’s Project Development and Energy Senior Associate, Stefanie Busch.
According to the HDF-Energy Business Developer responsible for Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, Tashiya Walenga, green hydrogen remains an enigmatic concept to many players in the private sector despite its benefits. One way to tap into the opportunities in the green hydrogen industry, Walenga shared with the audience, is to explore the value chain, which consists of upstream, midstream, and downstream components. By understanding the value chain, private sector actors can identify areas where they can leverage their strengths to contribute to local content and localisation. This will allow them to play a meaningful role in the green hydrogen industry for decades to come.
Lodestone COO, Danny Castelyn, who spoke about Lodestone’s green steel business venture, Hyron - emphasised that the call for local content can be achieved by implementing a long-term strategy in which local Namibians acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise required to participate meaningfully in the green hydrogen industry for decades to come.
zhero Business Development Manager for Namibia and South Africa, Grant Muller also shed light on the initiatives undertaken by zhero in the production of green hydrogen, ammonia and e-fuels towards driving economic prosperity in Namibia. This is against the backdrop of a major investment zhero made into a company called Tree Energy Solutions (TES) which is developing an e-LNG terminal and energy hub in Germany.
In addition to the benefits for private sector players, green hydrogen also boasts the potential for a complete overhaul of revenue mobilisation for government, according to Hyphen Hydrogen Energy CEO, Marco Raffinetti. He added that to realise this potential, it is imperative that government partners with investors to create an enabling environment for investor certainty, clear taxation rules, and a suitable regulatory environment.
The panellists concluded that the green hydrogen industry presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Namibians to take advantage of its many benefits. Hartmut Ruppel, Chairperson and Executive Director of ENSafrica | Namibia, thereafter closed the panel discussion by highlighting that, to ensure that this opportunity is realised, it is crucial that private sector players and government work together to create an environment that upholds the rule of law and the Namibian Constitution.
The event was the first of many discussions in the green hydrogen series to be hosted by ENSafrica and RMB throughout the year. The series will drive conversations around the progress made towards establishing a green hydrogen industry in Namibia, the available opportunities for the private sector and the potential green hydrogen projects offers for the achievement of Namibian socio-economic prosperity.
For more information on the green hydrogen series or the green hydrogen industry in Namibia, please contact:
Senior Associate | ENSafrica Namibia
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Communications Team Leader