Africa has been increasingly exploring hydrogen as a potential energy carrier due to its abundant renewable resources and the continent’s commitment to sustainable development. In a new initiative, Germany is collaborating with African countries to explore the utilization of green hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives as an energy option in a joint effort. German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and African partners in the Sub-Saharan region (SADC, ECOWAS and EAC countries) are to explore the potentials of green hydrogen production from the enormous renewable energy sources within the sub-regions in the first-phase of a joint initiative project of the H2ATLAS-AFRICA.

On January 25th and 26th, a Stakeholders Workshop Meeting held at Sarova Panafric Hotel Nairobi on “Hydrogen Atlas – Africa,” focusing on the “Atlas of Green Hydrogen generation potential in Kenya,” brought together key players in the field to explore and map out Kenya’s capacity for green hydrogen production. Held in collaboration between Forschungszentrum Jülich and Machakos University, this workshop marked a crucial step towards understanding and leveraging Kenya’s renewable energy resources for a cleaner, more sustainable future. Forschungszentrum Jülich, located in Germany, is known for its research in various fields including energy, environmental sciences, and materials research. They have been involved in several hydrogen-related projects and research initiatives, particularly in the development of hydrogen technologies and infrastructure.

The workshop commenced with an insightful opening address by the Vice Chancellor of Machakos University, Prof. Joyce Agalo underscoring the institution’s dedication to research, innovation, and collaboration. Emphasizing the importance of academia in driving forward initiatives that could revolutionize Kenya’s energy landscape, the Vice Chancellor set the tone for two days of fruitful discussion and exploration.

Prof. Joyce Agalo – Vice Chancellor
Prof. Peter Mwita - Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Linkages)
Prof. Zachary Getenga Coordinator of H2Atlas - Africa of Kenya and EAC Region
Presentation by panelist
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Prof. Zachary Getenga of Machakos university who is the overall coordinator of the H2 ATLAS- Africa in the East African region gave a brief background of the initiative, what the H2 ATLAS-Africa entails and what it will unveil. The H2 ATLAS AFRICA project is focused on assessing the potential of generating hydrogen in sub-Saharan Africa from the renewable energy resources in the region. It will focus on detailed technological, environmental and socioeconomic feasibility assessment taking local energy demands into consideration.

H2 ATLAS AFRICA will assess the availability and suitability of land and water resources that will not hamper the use of same for agriculture and for local consumption, respectively. Establish hydrogen technologies as core elements of energy system transformation. Securing and shaping the future national supply of CO2-free hydrogen and its derivatives.

Throughout the workshop, participants delved into the intricate details of Kenya’s renewable energy landscape, examining the feasibility and potential of green hydrogen generation. Researchers, industry experts, and government representatives engaged in lively discussions, sharing insights and perspectives on harnessing Kenya’s abundant renewable resources for hydrogen production.

The collaborative spirit was palpable as stakeholders’ exchanged ideas and experiences, highlighting the need for interdisciplinary cooperation to unlock Kenya’s green hydrogen potential fully. From exploring suitable production sites to assessing infrastructure requirements and identifying potential applications across various sectors, the workshop served as a catalyst for innovative thinking and actionable strategies.

As the workshop drew to a close, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Technology, Prof. Peter Mwita reiterated the university’s commitment to research-driven solutions and partnership initiatives. Reflecting on the valuable insights gleaned and the collaborative efforts witnessed during the two-day event, the Deputy Vice Chancellor emphasized the importance of translating research outcomes into tangible actions for sustainable development.

The Stakeholders Workshop on “Hydrogen Atlas – Africa” marked just the beginning of a journey towards realizing Kenya’s green hydrogen potential. With continued collaboration between academia, industry, and government stakeholders, coupled with ongoing research and innovation efforts, Kenya is poised to emerge as a frontrunner in sustainable energy development, paving the way for a greener, more resilient future.

The collaborative efforts between Forschungszentrum Jülich and Machakos University underscore a shared commitment to advancing sustainable energy solutions in Kenya and beyond. As the world looks towards cleaner, more sustainable energy sources, initiatives like the “Hydrogen Atlas – Africa” workshop serve as beacons of hope, guiding us towards a future powered by renewable resources and driven by innovation.

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