Hydrogen diplomacy: Germany opens Hydrogen Office in Nigeria
solar system in Kano, Nigeria, © GIZ/Marksmen Consult Ltd
Hydrogen is playing a key role in the context of Germany’s energy transition. While this transition poses risks for the producers of fossil fuels such as Nigeria, it also offers opportunities. The Hydrogen Office in Abuja will promote the establishment of a German-Nigerian cooperative partnership.
Germany requires large quantities of hydrogen in order to become climate neutral by 2045. Thanks to hydrogen, industrial production and heavy-haulage transport can be operated in a climate-friendly manner. With this in mind, the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy, published in June 2020, envisages promoting international cooperation in addition to creating a domestic hydrogen market.
In this context, the Federal Foreign Office is opening Hydrogen Offices in strategically important countries. The German-Nigerian Hydrogen Office in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, will be opened with a training session on power-to-X for Nigerian decision-makers from 9 to 11 November. This training will focus on processes for converting electricity into fuels, including for industry.
Hydrogen diplomacy highlights opportunities of the global energy transition
The global energy transition entails geopolitical shifts. In the future, expertise and the availability of technology will be decisive factors in addition to conditions on the ground. For fossil fuel exporters such as Nigeria, the emerging shift away from fossil fuels may pose economic and political challenges. Against this backdrop, German hydrogen diplomacy promotes the dialogue on the implications of the shift in the global energy economy towards renewable energies. At the same time, it highlights the potential of the production, use and export of hydrogen. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated the following on the occasion of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue on 16 March 2021:
[…] Hydrogen can be produced almost anywhere in the world. Seizing this opportunity and at the same time minimising the risks of the global energy policy transformation – that is what we want to do with our foreign policy on hydrogen.
Expanding the energy partnership to include hydrogen
The Hydrogen Office in Abuja will expand the activities of the German-Nigerian energy partnership, which has been in place since 2008. Its objective is to network decision-makers, experts and companies from both countries and to offer expert advice on the opportunities and challenges posed by the hydrogen economy. The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.