The Hydrogen Stream: North African hydrogen development stokes concerns


North Africa‘s hydrogen focus could divert leaders from addressing domestic social issues linked to the migration crisis, warns Rabah Arezki, director of research at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). If hydrogen becomes viable, exports to Europe may benefit elites, posing challenges such as exchange rate fluctuations. It could also reinforce a social contract under which citizens accept subsidies while elites profit from hydrogen production – akin to oil-exporting nations in the region. The Southern Mediterranean countries will face greater economic challenges during the energy transition, partly due to higher capital costs, says Arezki.

The European Commission has released the terms and conditions for its pilot auction focused on European renewable hydrogen production. The auction, funded by the Innovation Fund under the EU Hydrogen Bank, is scheduled to start on Nov. 23. The European Union's executive body said that it aims to allocate up to €800 million ($867.5 million) to renewable hydrogen producers within the European Economic Area (EEA). The support will be provided in the form of a fixed premium per kilogram of renewable hydrogen produced over 10 years of operation.

The Newfoundland and Labrador authorities have granted four companies permission to move forward with green hydrogen projects in the Canadian province. EverWind NL, Exploits Valley Renewable Energy, Toqlukuti'k Wind, and Hydrogen, and World Energy GH2 are now authorized to navigate the land application and approval process for their wind-to-hydrogen initiatives. Provincial Minister of Energy Andrew Parsons said the region has some of North America's best onshore wind resources, which can be harnessed to power turbines, generate electricity for industrial purposes, export via transmission lines, and produce and export hydrogen/ammonia.

DNV has granted Approval in Principle (AiP) to CB&I, McDermott's storage business, for its liquid hydrogen (LH2) cargo containment system design. CB&I, in collaboration with Shell, has confirmed that the containment system complies with relevant safety standards through this AiP. The AiP process included a Hazard Identification (HAZID) risk assessment. The system design is founded on CB&I's vacuum-insulated spherical technology for onshore LH2 storage. CB&I said that the design can scale up to 40,000 m3 per tank, with estimated boil-off rates of under 0.1% per day for small tanks and under 0.05% per day for large tanks.

Acciona Energía has secured an agreement in Aruba to develop a green hydrogen valley in the Caribbean nation. The renewable electricity will be used to produce green hydrogen, and the excess output will be used on the island, said Madrid-based Acciona Energía.

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