Namibia’s green hydrogen bet

Mapping out a green future
Green hydrogen offers Namibia a unique opportunity towards energy independence.
Namibia is resolutely committed to the Paris Agreement and to taking practical and ambitious action to reduce emissions and ensure a climate-resilient economy. In order to achieve the targets therein, an increased uptake of green hydrogen in hard-to-abate, energy-intensive sectors is critical.

The commitment to the Paris Climate Accords and ambitions of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals require resolute policy commitment and expedited project execution. Given our world-class renewable resources, proximity to the ocean and peaceful operating environment, Namibia is well placed to become a sub-Saharan clean energy powerhouse with dynamic green and blue economies.

To this end, Namibia has identified four potential hydrogen valleys across the country and has commenced with the development of the first: the Southern Corridor Development Initiative (SCDI).

The SCDI is a portfolio of complementary projects and infrastructure in the ||Karas Region of Namibia that seeks to optimise the production of affordable green hydrogen and ammonia for the country.

Green hydrogen, in turn, offers a unique opportunity to deploy renewable energy at scale, leading to Namibia’s energy independence, whilst also unlocking an opportunity to industrialise Namibia by attracting energy intensive sectors that would benefit from cheap and clean energy. This development of complementary engines of growth - through the accumulation of new productive capacities and know-how in strategic sectors - is a vital component of our economic recovery plan, which aspires to grow the complexity and diversity of Namibia’s economic structure.

We have captured and articulated our hydrogen ambitions in the second Harambee Prosperity Plan under the economic advancement pillar and have actively pursued its respective goals and targets since its launch in March 2021. This report takes account of our progress and begins to share our story with the world.

Hydrogen is already in widespread use, but today, more than 95% of hydrogen is produced from natural gas and coal and is thus incompatible with a long-term sustainable energy ecosystem. While green hydrogen has received increased attention from governments and industry alike, significant investment is required to reduce the levelised cost of hydrogen over time. This is necessary to ensure that green hydrogen and its derivatives become an indisputable mainstay of the global energy mix.

In Davos this year, Namibia announced its efforts to court concessionary capital using a blended financing platform we have termed SDG Namibia ONE to facilitate the effective deployment of the systemic capital needed to meet this challenge. The Namibian government has set ambitious targets to support the regional and global decarbonisation agenda and has made significant strides over the past months since the launch of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II.

We remain a friend to all and an enemy to none and are willing to open up our borders to facilitate the effective construction of an industry that will lead to the economic emancipation of our people and the preservation of the pristine majesty of our planet for our loved ones. Let us all hold hands and deliver on the commitments of the Paris Agreement with utmost allegiance and enthusiasm.

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Republikein 2022-12-05

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