Five reasons hydrogen has to happen in Africa… and five clear signs that it is

1. We need a clean energies transition…now
A point that is readily made and applies across the globe, but nonetheless sets the scene for any discussion around the importance of the hydrogen society.

To prevent climate disaster, the world aims to reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The need for a clean energies transition is more understood and accepted than ever before. It’s also more imperative than ever before. Across Africa and its incredible landscapes, some of the signs of climate change and the damaging effects of this are all too evident – so what better reason to step up and stop this harm in its tracks, right now?

2. Africa needs to de-leverage from arguably negative exploitation of its resources
Quite apart from anything else, the movement to clean energies and a hydrogen society in particular should allow us to de-leverage from our current fossil fuel dependence and geopolitical wars that seem to be waged as a result. It allows us to cease using single-use resources for energy, and can provide stability in power generation for all.

Further still, hydrogen could allow parts of Africa to de-couple from questionable resource extraction practices. Think of the mining of certain minerals, for example. Hydrogen is arguably more democratic and socially responsible than lithium-enabled battery-electric, due to the perceived harm that lithium extraction processes pose on local communities. Zimbabwe and Namibia both ranked in the top 10 lithium producing countries in 2018/19. Cobalt, another mineral used to produce the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric cars, also has some questionable if not even illegal mining practices associated with it, and the Democratic Republic of Congo is widely cited as producing up to 60% of the world’s supply.

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