The European Union’s plan to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels by 2030 calls for a resumption of dialogue with African LNG and hydrogen producers.

As part of it approved REPowerEU plan, first commissioned by the European Council two months ago, the EU aims to conclude a tripartite agreement with Egypt and Israel on LNG supplies to Europe. In addition, the European Commission says it wants to resume energy dialogue with Algeria and is considering the untapped potential of LNG in West African countries such as Nigeria, Senegal and Angola.

REPowerEU plan includes immediate measures to save energy, diversify energy supplies and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources to stop Russian gas imports and combat the climate crisis.

The EU has already secured record levels of LNG imports from international partners since the beginning of the year. From January to April 2022, 42 billion cubic meters were delivered to the continent. m of LNG, which is about 10% of EU gas consumption in 2020. Although most of these supplies come from the United States, the EU REPowerEU plan looking for alternative partners to the south. The new strategy outlines the short-term goals of Brussels to develop new partnerships with gas-producing countries, as well as to expand cooperation in the hydrogen sector.

Demand for renewable hydrogen is growing

The EU is also looking for global partners to increase the share of renewable hydrogen in its energy balance, in which African countries should be key players. The REPowerEU plan envisages that hydrogen partnerships in Africa will boost imports of 10 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030, replacing about 18 billion cubic meters of imported Russian gas.

“The region with a particularly high potential for renewable hydrogen production is the southern Mediterranean,” said the European Commission.

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to become a major producer of green hydrogen by 2050.

“However, this market has not yet been developed and requires a significant expansion of renewable energy production and water availability on a global scale,” they added.

Bilateral cooperation is already underway to ensure the development of efficient trade in renewable hydrogen between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Last year, the European Commission began work on a green partnership between the EU and Morocco. The EU-Egypt hydrogen partnership was recently discussed in Cairo, with the aim of becoming “the first step in greater cooperation on renewable hydrogen between Europe, Africa and the Persian Gulf, another area of ​​rich resources for hydrogen production,” the statement said. European Commission. .

Many African countries have already announced the development of green hydrogen projects, arousing the interest of EU industry. In Egypt and Zimbabwe, for example, more than 100 megawatts (MW) of electrolyzers have already been installed. Electrolysis is the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

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