AFSIA: Mauritania Eyes Major Role in Green Hydrogen Production

Country’s Solar Potential Puts It at Forefront of Africa's Green Hydrogen Ambitions

by Adenike Adeodun

Mauritania is poised to become a key player in the production of green hydrogen, thanks to its favorable geographical attributes and natural hydrogen resources, according to a new report by the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA). The AFSIA Annual Solar Outlook 2024 highlights a significant increase in solar development across Africa in 2023, with a notable rise in green hydrogen projects across the continent.

Mauritania’s ambitious plans for green hydrogen development are particularly striking. The country accounts for almost 60% of all African green hydrogen projects and nearly 30% of all solar development on the continent. This is a significant leap considering Mauritania currently has only 170 MW of operational solar power.

The country’s unique features, including excellent solar irradiation, access to the sea, proximity to Europe, and the presence of natural hydrogen, place Mauritania in an ideal position to maximize its green hydrogen production and export potential. This potential was recognized by the European Commission, which launched an initiative last October to support the development of Mauritania’s green hydrogen industry. The initiative is backed by several European countries and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

According to a report by ESI Africa, the Green Hydrogen Organisation acknowledges Mauritania’s excellent renewable energy prospects, considering it a potential leading green hydrogen producer in Africa. The country’s significant project developments and proximity to the European market could enhance export benefits, while also supplying power to the national grid and supporting various industrial activities, including green steel production.

AFSIA’s report emphasizes that the race for producing the cheapest green hydrogen is global, with several African countries, including Mauritania, being ideally positioned to lead due to their excellent solar irradiation and access to international maritime routes.

The report further notes that the appetite for green hydrogen development in Africa has surged in 2023, with the continent’s exceptional solar irradiation making it one of the prime locations for producing cost-effective green hydrogen. Countries with ambitious green hydrogen plans, such as Namibia, Egypt, Morocco, and Mauritania, also have some of the best solar irradiation in the world.

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