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Geopolitics of energy transformation : The Green Hydrogen factor

Green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, is rapidly gaining attention as a crucial tool in the fight against climate change. In North Africa, this field is taking on even greater geopolitical importance as countries in the region look to transition away from fossil fuels and reach their zero-emission targets.

One of the key drivers of this shift is the COP27 climate summit, which was held in 2022 and brought together leaders from around the world to discuss the urgent need for action on climate change. The summit resulted in a renewed commitment to the Paris Agreement, with countries pledging to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and transition to cleaner forms of energy.

For North African countries, this presents a major opportunity to take advantage of their abundant sunshine and strong winds to produce green hydrogen at scale. In fact, a recent study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) found that North Africa has the potential to produce up to 6 GW of green hydrogen by 2030, which would be enough to power millions of homes and vehicles.

To realize this potential, however, North African countries will need to work together to build the necessary infrastructure and develop the necessary regulations. This will require a high degree of coordination and cooperation between countries, as well as significant investments in research and development.

One example of a concrete initiative that North African countries can take is to create a regional hydrogen market. This would allow for the trading of hydrogen across borders and would increase the efficiency and scalability of the sector.

North Africa could also take advantage of its strategic location to develop a hydrogen export industry, selling hydrogen to Europe and other regions with high demand for clean energy. This would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the region.

Overall, green hydrogen has the potential to play a significant role in the transition to a zero-emission future in North Africa. The key will be for countries in the region to work together and take advantage of the opportunities presented by COP27 and other international agreements to build a sustainable and mutually beneficial future.