Momentum in the global hydrogen market continued to pick up at the recently completed COP27 climate summit in Egypt. Deals and partnerships were announced throughout the conference by governments and private companies—particularly between Europe and Africa.

This is good news for the hydrogen industry as it scales up. It is also something that Canadian companies, investors and policy makers should be following, particularly in relation to the hydrogen economy in Alberta which has the potential to play a key role globally. Hydrogen can be produced anywhere in the world and international competition in the export market will be fierce.

Africa and Europe: COP27 Announcements

The EU signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with both Egypt and Namibia during the summit. The MoU with Egypt will support the EU's ambition of reaching 20 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen consumption in 2030. The EU-Namibia partnership aims to develop a secure and sustainable supply of raw materials, refined materials and renewable hydrogen. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Namibia also signed a joint declaration on a potential loan of up to €500 million financing for renewable hydrogen and renewable energy investments.

European companies were also busy during COP27. France's HDF Energy said it was formalizing its partnership with the EIB to develop Namibia's first green hydrogen power plant. HDF also signed a MoU with Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to pave the way for the country's first green hydrogen power plant. bp and the Government of Mauritania agreed to explore green hydrogen at scale, signing a MoU in a meeting alongside the conference.

Other announcements on developing renewable hydrogen in Africa include:

  • UAE's Masdar-led consortium signed a framework agreement with leading Egyptian state-backed organizations on the development of a two gigawatt green hydrogen project in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
  • Israeli company H2Pro and Moroccan renewable energy developer Gaia Energy signed agreement for co-development of gigawatt-scale green hydrogen project.
  • The Government of Kenya and Australia's Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) signed a binding Framework Agreement to fast-track Kenya’s development of an affordable green fertilizer supply chain and other green hydrogen-based industries. Kenya and FFI intend to follow this up with the commencement of feasibility studies for two further projects that could ultimately produce up to 1.7 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year for export.

More International Announcements

On the second day of COP27, the EU and Kazakhstan signed a MoU that includes developing renewable hydrogen. Just prior to the start of the summit, German-based Svevind Energy Group signed an agreement with Kazakhstan’s government to build a $50 billion, 20 gigawatt green hydrogen plant that is expected to be one of the world’s largest.

In a project that will be based in Europe, the United States announced a Clean Fuels from SMRs pilot to produce clean hydrogen and ammonia using small modular reactor (SMR) and electrolysis technologies in Ukraine.

Continued momentum is expected in the global hydrogen market.