The Information and Decision Support Center at the Council of Ministers held the eleventh session of the intellectual forum entitled “Green Hydrogen Industry: Opportunities and Challenges”, in the presence of a group of experts and a number of officials.
At the beginning of the session, the attendees watched a presentation by Buthaina Farag, Director of the General Department for Information Analysis and Research at the Information Center, which dealt with production levels and global demand for hydrogen, global investments in this sector and the volume of trade in it, as well as related challenges, leading global practices, and finally reality and prospects. Green hydrogen industry in Egypt.
New and renewable energy sources for hydrogen production
At the beginning of the session, Engineer Ahmed Al-Khalifa, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Projects, spoke about the importance of benefiting from new and renewable energy sources to produce green hydrogen, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, especially since climate changes are expected to become more severe in the coming years. Success in such a matter depends on research and development to reduce the cost of production; It is the biggest challenge now, as well as studying the most appropriate means of transportation, storage and distribution, and aspects of use.
Dr. Ibrahim Mustafa Abdel-Khalek, Vice President of the General Authority for the Economic Zone of the Suez Canal for Investment and Promotion Affairs, reviewed the authority’s efforts to create opportunities for green hydrogen production, by providing the necessary infrastructure. such as berths in major ports such as Sokhna and East Port Said, and the water desalination plant required for the project is being offered in the coming months, and the General Authority for the Economic Zone of the Suez Canal is studying the possibility of energy-intensive industries to benefit from hydrogen, then His Excellency addressed the importance of helping projects to actually start on land reality; By providing all facilities, and overcoming challenges such as the speed of allocating land for projects, and absorbing the energy produced.
Eng. Ahmed Mahina, Senior Undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, explained that The green hydrogen market is not yet fully developedAnd, despite the continuous global momentum in this field, and Egypt is not far from this scene, as a national committee was formed for this purpose 3 years ago, and prepared a report with several recommendations, including the development of a national strategy for green hydrogen; This strategy will see the light within weeks, and one of its goals is for Egypt to contribute 5-8% of the global hydrogen export market, in addition to using it in the local market for production purposes, especially the production of green fertilizers, which is a very promising market.
Engineer Ahmed Muhaina stressed the importance of implementing pilot projects. A total of 23 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) for green hydrogen production with very ambitious capacities were signed, 9 of which have been transformed into framework agreements. The Ministry of Electricity has undertaken the allocation of lands for green hydrogen projects, and it is currently required to market these projects as they are environmentally friendly projects and deserve soft funds or grants from developed countries, as according to the Paris Agreement, developing countries are entitled to obtain these funds for clean energy projects.
Dr. Mohamed Al-Khayyat, CEO of the New and Renewable Energy Authority, reviewed Egypt’s advantages in the field of renewable energy, including: allocating 30,000 square kilometers for renewable energy projects, and these lands are characterized by high rates of solar radiation and wind speed, which raises the attractiveness of investment in this field, as well as the attractiveness of The product, whether hydrogen or otherwise.
Al-Khayyat also pointed out another feature, which is opening the roof of the turbines used, to reach 220 meters, and this height allows the use of wind turbines with advanced technologies, which reflects positively on efficiency and cost together, and pointed to the granting of the “golden license” in several fields, including energy. renewable; Indeed, a number of projects have already acquired it, and this is very important for investors.
Eng. Ehab Ismail, Executive Vice President of the New and Renewable Energy Authority, added that the state has been preparing for years to facilitate the production of renewable energy. This is through legislation and policies, then memorandums of understanding for investment in this field, and there are important incentives to encourage investment in hydrogen projects, most notably: a competitive price for electricity, lands suitable for projects, and electricity infrastructure to absorb hydrogen energies.
Dr. Samir Al-Qaraish, a consultant and expert in energy transition and sustainability, stressed the importance of having an energy transition entity that includes all concerned parties, to unify the efforts of the various sectors with the aim of accelerating movement on the paths of transition to clean energy. He also stressed the importance of announcing a strategy for the energy transition; To reduce and remove carbon in all sectors such as: industry and energy production, provided that this strategy takes into account the opportunities, challenges and options to start moving on this path, with an indication of the sources of financing and the technologies used, so that the agreements signed in this framework allow the transition to the implementation stage.
Dr. Ahmed Sultan, an energy expert and head of the energy committee at the Syndicate of Engineers in Cairo, then addressed the global interest in diversifying energy sources. Today, the world seeks to add green energy to its sources to achieve a balance between development and preserving the environment, provided that this is done with low-cost technology, because whoever can go far in the field of renewable energy production is the one who can reduce the cost of its production.
To achieve this purpose, Sultan stressed the importance of studying the needs of global markets, establishing a higher council for the transition to green energy, and the need to finalize the national strategy for the production and use of hydrogen in Egypt, and it must include the foundations and objectives that define the policies and regulatory frameworks for implementing green hydrogen projects, and enacting Legislations to protect and encourage investment in this field, establish safety rules, and establish strategic alliances between countries in the region, as well as adopt an Arab initiative aimed at reducing the cost of production and transportation, and finally establish partnerships with major global markets for hydrogen.
Dr. Ahmed Sultan also indicated the need to prepare a map of industries that use hydrogen, to establish production units near these industries, especially fertilizer and cement factories, and others. He also suggested establishing a research center to develop studies on hydrogen, as well as holding an annual international conference to exchange relevant experiences and benefit from experiences. International leader in the industry.
We welcome investors
For her part, Eng. Madiha Abdel-Azim, Head of the Technical Affairs Sector of the New and Renewable Energy Authority, confirmed that the authority welcomes every investor who seeks to establish a green hydrogen production project, by studying his project, signing a memorandum of understanding, and allocating the necessary lands. Areas have been allocated for renewable energy plant projects: from Sun, Wind and others, with an area of about 30,000 square kilometers, and a few months ago it was only approximately 5,200 square kilometers. It also indicated the importance of continuous review of the position of investors; In the event of proven lack of seriousness, the land will be returned to be allocated to another serious investor.
At the end of the session, Eng. Ahmed Mahrous, Director General of Research and Energy Studies at the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, pointed out the importance of the national strategy for green hydrogen, as it will be the framework through which work will be carried out in the coming period, and with regard to the integration of energy networks to transfer huge quantities of renewable energy. He explained that the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company contracted with an international consultant (Elia grid) last January to study the needs of developing and strengthening electricity transmission networks to accommodate the expected renewable energy needed for green hydrogen projects, and the study is expected to be completed next October.