By Sebastine Obasi
Low-carbon hydrogen and just transition took centre stage as the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria and the German-Nigerian Hydrogen Office, financed by the Federal Foreign Office and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), had its day at the 6th Nigeria International Energy Summit, NIES, taking place in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria, Mrs. Annett GÜNTHER, stated that “it has been two years now since the Nigerian International “Petroleum Summit” was re-branded as “Energy Summit”, thus reflecting a crucial change in its outlook and in the increased attention it gives to non-traditional sources of energy. There could be no better way to illustrate this process than a discussion that is clearly moving from oil to gas, and from gas to hydrogen and other green and renewable energy sources”.
Also speaking, the Country Director, GIZ Nigeria and ECOWAS, Markus WAGNER, shared that, “the nascent low-carbon hydrogen economy and its associated industries hold the promise of economic growth, industrialization, added-value creation, decent job generation, infrastructure development, and an increased access to secure and affordable low-carbon energy. Yet, these socio-economic benefits can only be reaped if we focus on long-term development instead of immediate returns and If we focus on how to make the Energy Transition a Just Transition”.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Aduda, emphasized how low-carbon hydrogen fits into the theme of this year’s edition of the NIES (Global Perspectives for a Sustainable Energy Future), which was motivated by the foreseen changes in the fossil fuel segment as the world pursues the energy transition agenda. He also explained that Nigeria is keen on exploring the possibilities that the nascent hydrogen economy could create for its energy sector.
Also speaking, the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change, Salisu Dahiru, expressed gratitude for the existing cooperation between Germany and Nigeria and anticipation for further cooperation in the implementation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, especially on the topic of low-carbon hydrogen.
In a presentation on the opportunities, levers and challenges to make low-carbon hydrogen a reality for Nigeria, Chinnan DIKWAL, Executive Vice President of the African Energy Council, stated that Nigeria is well positioned to produce low-carbon hydrogen for domestic use and export into Europe and Asia. He further gave recommendations to help develop a robust hydrogen value chain in Nigeria, such as creating a H2 accelerator programme for start-ups and projects, co-locating H2 production and consumption in hydrogen valleys, and launching a hydrogen-centric regulatory regime to instil confidence for both producers and consumers of hydrogen.