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27 May 2022

Morocco, Algeria, Egypt: Assessing EU plans to import hydrogen from North Africa (Opinion Piece)

Finance and Investment
Regulatory and Governance
Renewable Energy
North Africa Hydrogen

This report examines three North African countries that in recent years are increasingly focused on hydrogen, based in significant part on the interest of the EU and its corporations. Morocco, Algeria and Egypt are all planning to manufacture green hydrogen and hydrogen-based products, and ship them to the EU via boats and pipelines, to help meet this projected demand.

But how feasible are such a plan, how much would they cost, and would they be the best use of renewables in those countries? There are big question marks over whether green hydrogen can ever be exported at sufficiently attractive prices, given the high production and transportation costs: Using intermittent renewables to power electrolysers will lead to higher costs, but connecting to the grid to mitigate against this could further increase costs, as well as the CO2 footprint. It would also undermine the EU’s criteria for green hydrogen.

 Each of these three North African countries is assessed in this study.

This report is written by Michael Barnard, Chief Strategist, TFIE Strategy Inc, and Advisor to Agora Energy Technologies and ELECTRON Aviation and is commissioned by Corporate Europe Observatory and Transnational Institute.