Namibia comes to Europe to sell its sunshine

Posted: May 20, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, hydrogen, net zero, News
Tags: ,


Namibia is a long way from Europe, but desperate emissions-obsessed governments may not care. Morocco is a lot nearer as one UK energy firm has already noticed.
– – –
As Europe struggles to decarbonise its economy and wean itself off Russian oil and gas, one of the world’s sunniest and most arid nations is pitching itself to the continent as an answer to its problems, says Euractiv.

A delegation from sub-Saharan Africa’s driest country has been touring Europe to tout their nation as a potential powerhouse of clean energy.

They say Namibia can produce so much solar power it will soon be self-sufficient in electricity – and, by the end of the decade, could become an exporter of so-called green hydrogen.

“We came to Europe saying we have this amazing sun,” said James Mnyupe, economic adviser to the Namibian presidency.

He was in Rotterdam earlier this month for the “World Hydrogen Summit” trade fair and on Wednesday was making a pitch in Paris ahead of a trip to Davos.

A huge, chiefly desert country in southwestern Africa with a population of just 2.5 million, Namibia is sun-drenched and bone-dry.

That makes it perfect for erecting gigantic solar farms, whose power can be used to help make hydrogen – which in turn can be used for fuel or converted into ammonia to make fertiliser.

Producing hydrogen entails splitting water into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen, using an energy-gobbling technique called electrolysis.

Namibia says it is in a unique position to make the process clean.

Boasting a vast coastline on the South Atlantic, it would use sea water that is desalinated and then electrolysed using clean renewables.

The hydrogen would be piped to a terminal and then exported, “to Rotterdam, Germany or South Africa” as well as used at home, said Mnyupe.

Full article here.

  1. pochas94 says:

    Green hydrogen could also be used to fuel gaslighting. Beware!

  2. […] Namibia comes to Europe to sell its sunshine […]

  3. Bazz says:

    It then has to be compressed/cooled and transported by ships. At the destination it has to be regasified and or transported by trucks, trains or pipeline. Plenty of places to lose energy. It can be done but—-

  4. Gamecock says:

    ‘They say Namibia can produce so much solar power it will soon be self-sufficient in electricity’

    Being near the equator, the sun shines around the clock.

  5. oldbrew says:

    The EU is talking about 10 million tons of hydrogen by 2030, some of it imported 🤔

  6. Bazz says:

    At 22 deg south it is hardly near the equator. Most solar systems work best from 9am to 3PM but outside that they fall off rapidly.

  7. Gamecock says:

    “Most solar systems work best from 9am to 3PM but outside that they fall off rapidly.”


    “They say Namibia can produce so much solar power it will soon be self-sufficient in electricity”

    So, who should I believe, Namibia or some guy on the internet?

  8. dennisambler says:

    So, who should I believe, Namibia or some guy on the internet?

    The guy who is selling the book of course…

  9. JB says:

    “Namibia is sun-drenched and bone-dry.” And they didn’t add dirt poor. Otherwise they would already have working models and set to prove concept.

  10. Curious George says:

    Always request hydrogen produced from desalinated water. Hydrogen produced from seawater is no good.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Octopus Energy backs mega solar farm in Morocco to power 7 million heat pumps with cheap green power
    London, 12th May 2022

    Octopus Energy enters deal with Morocco-UK Power Project Xlinks

    10 GW renewables project to diversify UK energy supply routes this decade

    ‘cheap green power’ — don’t bet on the cheap part 😏

  12. oldbrew says:

    George – the full article says:

    Namibia says it is in a unique position to make the process clean.

    Boasting a vast coastline on the South Atlantic, it would use sea water that is desalinated and then electrolysed using clean renewables.

  13. oldbrew says:

    Yesterday Xlinks unveiled its plans to build £16 billion sub-sea project to bring power from Morocco to Great Britain. As it is called, Morocco-UK Power Project will be a new electricity generation facility entirely powered by solar and wind energy combined with a battery storage facility.

    Located in Morocco’s renewable energy rich region of Guelmim Oued Noun, it will cover an approximate area of 1,500km2 and will be connected exclusively to Great Britain via 3,800km HVDC sub-sea cables.

    This “first of a kind” project will generate 10.5GW of zero carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day. This is enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over 7 million British homes by 2030. Once complete, the project will be capable of supplying 8 percent of Great Britain’s electricity needs.

  14. oldbrew says:

    At least Morocco is nearer than Namibia. Nice work for cable layers.

  15. Gamecock says:

    ‘cheap green power’

    Pick 2.

  16. Graeme No.3 says:

    It is the new fashion. We have similar schemes here in Australia where vast solar panels will supply the vast electrolysis plants AND the desalination plants AND the hydrogen liquidation plants, so GREEN politicians can provide subsidies because the whole idea is uneconomic. At least the Namibian scheme will rely on subsidies from Europe, unlike here where the local inhabitants will get to pay (and pay) “to save the planet”.

  17. Bazz says:

    To the knockers, I have solar cells and I know their output during the day.
    9 to 3 is their best time and such a plant can only work for about a third of a day and in winter even less. Solar cells are not an efficient source of energy as they are shut down for most of their life. I would like to know how Namibia has been able to run their electricity system on them. Everyone else would like to know.

  18. oldbrew says:

    Their idea of ‘cheap’ seems to be to match the price of offshore wind.

  19. stpaulchuck says:

    is this being run by the Nigerian Prince? Seems like it would have about the same economic outcome.

  20. oldbrew says: reporting…

    Green hydrogen — a risky bet

    Green hydrogen currently constitutes just a fraction of total hydrogen production. The technology is still not fully proven on a big scale, making it a rather risky bet.

    There are other concerns. The electrolysis process to separate hydrogen molecules from water is expensive. Producing green hydrogen is even more costly when seawater is used, as Namibia plans to, because then the water has to first go through an expensive desalination process. Transporting hydrogen remains challenging.

  21. oldbrew says:

    MAY 31, 2022.
    Scientists Discover Major Complication Of A Saharan Solar Farm

    While the black surfaces of solar panels absorb most of the sunlight that reaches them, only a fraction (around 15%) of that incoming energy gets converted to electricity.

    The rest is returned to the environment as heat. The panels are usually much darker than the ground they cover, so a vast expanse of solar cells will absorb a lot of additional energy and emit it as heat, affecting the climate.

    If these effects were only local, they might not matter in a sparsely populated and barren desert.

    But the scale of the installations that would be needed to make a dent in the world’s fossil energy demand would be vast, covering thousands of square kilometers.

    Heat re-emitted from an area this size will be redistributed by the flow of air in the atmosphere, having regional and even global effects on the climate.
    . . .
    We are only beginning to understand the potential consequences of establishing massive solar farms in the world’s deserts.

    Solutions like this may help society transition from fossil energy, but Earth system studies like ours underscore the importance of considering the numerous coupled responses of the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface when examining their benefits and risks.

    Impacts of Large-Scale Sahara Solar Farms on Global Climate and Vegetation Cover
    First published: 11 December 2020

  22. oldbrew says:

    Going large…

    $40 Billion Green Hydrogen Project Announced In Mauritania
    June 1, 2021

    The world’s biggest renewable energy project involving the production of green hydrogen will be developed in Mauritania. Renewable energy developer CWP Global and the government of Mauritania have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of a 26GW hydrogen project called “AMAN”.

    The project would cost $40 billion and will use electrolyzers powered by renewable energy to produce green H. The green hydrogen and its derivatives will be exported to global markets. AMAN will be located in the north part of the country on a desert site of approximately 8,500 km2.
    – – –
    Then comes the waffle about ‘working with communities for the development of projects providing low-cost clean electricity to help them decarbonize.’

    Low-cost hydrogen doesn’t and never will exist.

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