Mauritania set to become global green energy hub

Mauritania set to become global green energy hub

Global energy systems are changing. Countries are ramping up their efforts to meet ambitious climate targets, including 55% or greater reduction in carbon emissions below 1990 levels by 2030. This is prompting many countries to develop alternative and renewable sources of energy to offset the anticipated decline in demand for fossil fuels in the long term.

The future of renewable energy lies in Africa and the Maghreb in particular. With lots of sunshine and wind, one country in particular- Mauritania- is ideal for generating clean electricity and for using it to create another clean fuel - hydrogen. Earlier this year companies from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Germany struck a 34-billion-dollar deal with Mauritania to develop a green hydrogen project near the capital Nouakchott. Reuters reports the project will have an annual production capacity of up to 8 million tonnes of green hydrogen or other hydrogen-based end products. It will also have an electrolyser with a planned capacity of up to 10 gigawatts - the output of roughly 5 to 6 standard nuclear power plants.  According to Reuters the first phase of the project is set to be completed by 2028.

As a large mineral and copper producer, Mauritania could eventually create a domestic market for green hydrogen as it proceeds to decarbonize its extensive mining sector. This decarbonization could spur development of Mauritania’s energy sector but it needs to be underpinned by good governance. There are two other challenges: securing financing and access to international markets.

Financing of domestic energy production is gathering momentum. To fully deliver on its green energy potential, Mauritania and its partners will need to develop the extensive export infrastructure, including pipelines to reach international customers.

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