BMBF Praises the Green Hydrogen Symposium: a Success Story of German-Namibian Partnership Highlighted by Mr. Stefan Müller

Mr. Stefan Müller, Head of the department “Provision for the Future – Research for Fundamentals and Sustainable Development” at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), highlighted key developments and achievements in the green hydrogen partnership between Germany and Namibia. Mr. Müller, made the remarks at the recently concluded Green Hydrogen Symposium (GHS24), held at the Windhoek Country Club in Namibia on March 26th and 27th, 2024. The Symposium hosted by the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL), attracted over 150 participants from different continents, diverse backgrounds, including industry leaders, government representatives, development organizations, students, and the public. The event, themed “Green Hydrogen in Practice: Pilot Projects and Y4H2 Scholarships,” provided a platform for stakeholders to delve into the advancements and achievements in Namibia’s Green Hydrogen projects that are funded by the federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Head of the department “Provision for the Future – Research for Fundamentals and Sustainable Development” at BMBF, Mr. Stefan Müller virtually delivers a statement during the opening ceremony

He emphasized Namibia’s emergence as a pivotal country for green hydrogen production, citing the significant potential for growth in this sector. The partnership, initiated through a Joint Communique of Intent signed in 2021, has laid the groundwork for collaborative efforts in three key areas in partnership with SASSCAL.

  1. National Hydrogen Strategy: The development of a national hydrogen strategy for Namibia was a crucial step in laying the foundation for the Green Hydrogen economy.
  2. Pilot Projects: Three Namibian-German pilot projects on green hydrogen and its derivatives have been launched, marking significant milestones in the journey towards a hydrogen-based economy.
  3. Capacity Building: The “Youth for Green Hydrogen” scholarship program, aims to equip young professionals with the skills needed in a green hydrogen economy.

The Namibia Green Hydrogen Strategy drafted in collaboration with German partners, was unveiled at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference, showcasing Namibia’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions. Furthermore, Mr. Müller, highlighted the implementation of pilot projects aimed at producing and utilizing green hydrogen and its derivatives. These projects, funded through the partnership, include initiatives such as the Daures Green Hydrogen Village, Africa’s first net-zero community, and the Cleanergy refueling station, Africa’s first hydrogen filling station. Additionally, the HyRail project is pioneering the use of hydrogen-powered locomotives, showcasing Namibia’s innovative approach to sustainable transportation.

Mr. Müller emphasized the importance of investing in human capital for Namibia’s green hydrogen ambitions. The “Youth for Green Hydrogen” scholarship program, a collaboration between BMBF and SASSCAL, equips young Namibians with the expertise needed to lead the country’s green hydrogen transition. He further, expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, SASSCAL, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for their collaboration in making this program a success. He also commended the dedication of these young scholars who are paving the way for a climate-neutral future powered by green hydrogen.

The critical issue of water scarcity in Namibia and its implications for hydrogen production was also addressed at GHS24. The need to explore solutions such as seawater desalination and wastewater treatment to ensure the sustainability of hydrogen production was emphasized. A feasibility study is currently underway to assess the viability of these solutions and their integration into future infrastructure projects.

In addition, Mr. Müller highlighted the Atlas of Green Hydrogen Generation Potentials in Africa, which provides valuable insights into the region’s capacity for green hydrogen production. The findings of this project indicate that Namibia has the potential to become a global leader in green hydrogen production, paving the way for economic growth and energy independence.

In conclusion, Mr. Müller underscored the importance of international cooperation in addressing climate change challenges and accelerating the transition to sustainable energy solutions. He commended the symposium for providing a platform for collaboration and knowledge-sharing among industry stakeholders, researchers, and policymakers. As participants departed the symposium, they were inspired to contribute to the growth of the green hydrogen sector and work towards a greener, more sustainable future.

The symposium concluded with a call to action for continued collaboration and innovation in the Green Hydrogen sector. Participants left the event inspired and motivated to contribute to the growth and sustainability of Namibia’s Green Hydrogen economy. The symposium served as a testament to the progress achieved through partnership and collective efforts, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future.