HyAfrica: Towards a next generation renewable energy source – a natural hydrogen solution for power supply in Africa

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Partners

Project coordinator: Julio Carneiro, CONVERGE, Lda, Portugal

Project partners:

Main topic addressed: New renewable energy resources for Africa

Aim of HyAfrica

The project promotes the exploitation of natural hydrogen in African geological environments, in order to provide alternative energy for local areas.

Background

Natural hydrogen (also called white hydrogen) is a primary and clean energy source, continuously replenished by geochemical reactions in deep geological formations. Yet, exploration methodologies for natural hydrogen are poorly defined, and there are little regulatory measures in place for exploration and exploitation in the countries where the project operates.

Even among the geosciences community, the technical capacity and awareness about natural hydrogen is very low. Studies on social and economic impacts as well as business model for natural hydrogen utilisation are therefore lacking, and there is a  high level of uncertainty on natural hydrogen resources required for local/regional energy systems.

About the project

HyAfrica proposes a necessary first step in the understanding of the extraction and utilisation possibilities in a set of African countries. Its objective is to assess the resources of natural hydrogen in promising regions of Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa and Togo and to evaluate its social-economic impact.  The project will create strategies for the exploitation of the hydrogen source, and  allow institutions in the identified countries to develop roadmaps and action plans, and include hydrogen in their energy systems.

To achieve that, Hyafrica will focus on building capacity with the local teams, through the knowledge that has been gained and the development of the socio-economic and business models. The engagement of stakeholders will also take precedent in identifying licensing and development procedures.

Expected Results:

Specific expected results include:

  • Identification of natural hydrogen resources in 4 promising regions
  • Developing a methodology for systematic exploration of natural hydrogen
  • Roadmaps for natural hydrogen exploration and exploitation programs in target countries
  • Detailed techno-economic analysis of natural Hydrogen in energy systems (standalone, mini grid) of two most promising regions
  • Business models for natural hydrogen utilization at local and regional level for 4 regions
  • Complementarity of natural hydrogen and green hydrogen and other RES for 2 promising regions
  • Capacity building and raising awareness on natural hydrogen among stakeholders of target countries