Press release ¤ Information de presse
Since October 2022, scientists, and consultants from the Frankfurt-based institutions DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. and ISOE - Institute for Social-Ecological Research have been analysing the means by which a hydrogen economy can be successfully established in Namibia and the possibilities for exporting it to Germany.
Within the framework of a study, which will be developed over the next two and a half years, the project partners will analyse aspects of the production, conversion and transport of Green Hydrogen in Namibia. The goal of the study is to investigate the potential of a Green Hydrogen industry - including innovative seawater desalination technologies on site - as well as possibilities for hydrogen export to Germany.
While DECHEMA focuses on the technical aspects of hydrogen production and water management as well as studies on market development, ISOE provides support in the area of transformation management and social-ecological impacts. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of its strategy to expand international hydrogen partnerships. Since there is not enough (green) hydrogen to be produced in Germany, the BMBF is pursuing the goal of entering into partnerships with countries where production appears to make sense.
For example, initial calculations show that Namibia has optimal conditions for generating wind and solar energy and thus producing green hydrogen. Namibia itself aims to export Green Hydrogen before 2025. Green Hydrogen is climate-neutral because no CO2 is released during its production - it therefore has a key role to play in Germany's energy transition.
"Even though, according to many experts, Namibia is one of the most promising countries for the low-cost production of Green Hydrogen, it is also the driest country in the sub-Saharan region. Sufficient renewable energy alone is not enough for hydrogen production. Water, which is also needed, must therefore be obtained locally at low cost from seawater desalination plants. Only then will the project be profitable," says Dr. Daniel Frank, coordinator of the project at DECHEMA.
In addition to the potential offered by the production of Green Hydrogen, the social and ecological risks, such as water and land use conflicts, must also be evaluated. This assessment will be carried out by the cooperation partner ISOE.
If the study succeeds in demonstrating the feasibility of hydrogen production and the planned export, the concept can be transferred to other regions. This would create a basis for the worldwide development of the hydrogen economy. Green Hydrogen would thus make an important contribution to climate neutrality as well as to the socio-economic development of the Global South.
DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. brings together experts from different disciplines, institutions and generations to promote scientific exchange in chemical engineering, process engineering and biotechnology. DECHEMA searches for new technological trends, evaluates them and accompanies the implementation of research results in technical applications. More than 5,800 engineers, scientists, students, companies and institutions belong to the non-profit association. Together with DECHEMA Ausstellungs-GmbH, it is the organizer of ACHEMA.
ISOE - Institute for Social-Ecological Research is one of the leading independent institutes for sustainability research. It develops scientific foundations and forward-looking concepts for socio-ecological transformations. To this end, ISOE conducts transdisciplinary research on global problems such as water scarcity, climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation, and finds viable solutions that take into account ecological, social and economic conditions.