Kenya’s Green Hydrogen Strategy launches at Africa Climate Summit

Kenya's Green Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap promises to foster the emergence of new industrial processes, mitigate supply risks, and reduce the uncertainties linked to market price volatility.


Image : Africa Climate Summit

Kenya’s Green Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap was launched at the Africa Climate Summit on Tuesday with the signing of a deal that will see the EU invest €12m ($12.9m) in the country’s green economy.

The Roadmap, developed with EU experts and forming part of the EU’s Global Gateway investment strategy, sets out Kenya’s ambitions to develop its green hydrogen industry from now until 2032 and beyond. It focuses on domestic market development and growth, and includes specific objectives related to emission reductions, job creation, and direct investments.

Through its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), Kenya’s ambition is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2030. Kenya was a first mover in green energy transition and has made significant advancements, with over 90% of its electricity derived from renewable resources.

Kenya’s partnership with the EU focuses on accelerating investments in clean energy infrastructure to make Kenya’s commitment to achieve a 100% renewable electricity system by 2030 come true.

“The European Investment Bank welcomes Kenya’s adoption of the visionary green hydrogen roadmap that will further strengthen Kenya’s role as a world leader in clean energy. This represents a milestone for further developing renewable energy in Africa and enhancing access to affordable energy essential for industrial growth, economic development and social progress,” said Thomas Östros, vice-president of the European Investment Bank and one of the signatories to the deal.

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Fostering local industry

By substituting hydrogen commodity imports such as fertiliser or methanol with domestically-produced green alternatives, Kenya will be able to foster the emergence of new industrial processes, mitigate supply risks, and reduce the uncertainties linked to market price volatility.

“It has been a refreshing surprise that Kenya’s green hydrogen strategy and roadmap, created with EU funding… does not chase lofty dreams of shipping hydrogen to another continent,” commented journalist Nikolaus J. Kurmayer in an opinion article published on Euractiv.

“Instead, the strategy focuses on what Kenyans can create for themselves, turning their abundant hydrogen into green fertiliser to make the country’s farms some of the world’s climate-friendliest.

Advocates say green hydrogen presents a promising pathway to unlock opportunities for sustainable manufacturing and drive industrialisation, while contributing to a higher food security in the country and the region.

“The green hydrogen economy will enhance food security including expansion of green production of Kenyan tea, coffee, horticulture, floriculture and grains. It will also facilitate decarbonisation of our industries and indeed the economy,” said President William Ruto of Kenya.

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Charles Dietz

Charles Dietz is a sub editor and journalist at African Business.