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Hydrogen Economy Hints At New Global Power Dynamics

Rapid growth of the global hydrogen economy can bring significant geoeconomic and geopolitical shifts giving rise to a wave of new interdependencies, according to new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation: The Hydrogen Factor sees hydrogen changing the geography of energy trade and regionalising energy relations, hinting at the emergence of new centres of geopolitical influence built on the production and use of hydrogen, as traditional oil and gas trade declines.

Driven by the climate urgency and countries' commitments to net zero, IRENA estimates hydrogen to cover up to 12 per cent of global energy use by 2050. Growing trade and targeted investments in a market dominated by fossil fuels and currently valued at USD 174 billion is likely to boost economic competitiveness and influence the foreign policy landscape with bilateral deals diverging significantly from the hydrocarbon relationships of the 20th century.

"Hydrogen could prove to be a missing link to a climate-safe energy future", Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA said. "Hydrogen is clearly riding on the renewable energy revolution with green hydrogen emerging as a game changer for achieving climate neutrality without compromising industrial growth and social development. But hydrogen is not a new oil. And the transition is not a fuel replacement but a shift to a new system with political, technical, environmental, and economic disruptions."

"It is green hydrogen that will bring new and diverse participants to the market, diversify routes and supplies and shift power from the few to the many. With international co-operation, the hydrogen market could be more democratic and inclusive, offering opportunities for developed and developing countries alike."

IRENA estimates that over 30 per cent of hydrogen could be traded across borders by 2050, a higher share than natural gas today. Countries that have not traditionally traded energy are establishing bilateral energy relations around hydrogen. As more players and new classes of net importers and exporters emerge on the world stage, hydrogen trade is unlikely to become weaponised and cartelised, in contrast to the geopolitical influence of oil and gas. 

Cross-border hydrogen trade is set to grow considerably with over 30 countries and regions planning for active commerce already today. Some countries that expect to be importers are already deploying dedicated hydrogen diplomacy such as Japan and Germany. Fossil fuel exporters increasingly consider clean hydrogen an attractive way to diversify their economies for example Australia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. However, broader economic transition strategies are required as hydrogen will not compensate for losses in oil and gas revenues. 

The technical potential for hydrogen production significantly exceeds estimated global demand. Countries most able to generate cheap renewable electricity will be best placed to produce competitive green hydrogen. While countries such as Chile, Morocco, and Namibia are net energy importers today, they are set to emerge as green hydrogen exporters. Realising the potential of regions like Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and Oceania could limit the risk of export concentration, but many countries will need technology transfers, infrastructure and investment at scale. 

The geopolitics of clean hydrogen will likely play out in different stages. The report sees the 2020s as a big race for technology leadership. But demand is expected to only take off in the mid-2030s. By that time, green hydrogen will cost-compete with fossil-fuel hydrogen globally, poised to happen even earlier in countries like China, Brazil and India. Green hydrogen was already affordable in Europe during the 2021 spike in natural gas prices. Refurbishing natural gas pipelines is likely to further boost demand and facilitate hydrogen trade. 

Countries with ample renewable potential could become sites of green industrialisation, using their potential to attract energy-intensive industries. Furthermore, having a stake in the hydrogen value chain can boost economic competitiveness. The manufacturing of equipment like electrolysers and fuel cells in particular could drive business. China, Japan and Europe have already developed a head start in the production, but innovation will shape the current manufacturing landscape further.

Green hydrogen may strengthen energy independence, security, and resilience by cutting import dependency and price volatility and boosting flexibility of the energy system. However, the raw materials needed for hydrogen and renewable technologies could draw attention to material security. Shortages and price fluctuations could reverberate through hydrogen supply chains and negatively affect cost and revenues. 

Shaping the rules, standards and governance of hydrogen could lead to geopolitical competition or open a new era of enhanced international cooperation. Assisting particularly developing countries to deploy green hydrogen technologies and advance hydrogen industries could prevent the widening of a global decarbonisation divide and promote equity and inclusion, creating local value chains, green industries, and jobs in renewable-rich countries.

ENGIE Equatorial Inaugurates Game-changing Lolwe Mini-Grid In Uganda

ENGIE Equatorial announced that the Lolwe hybrid solar 600 kWp mini-grid, with integrated productive hub and e-mobility, has been inaugurated on Lolwe Island, Uganda, in the presence of Uganda's Minister of Energy Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa.

This joint project between ENGIE Energy Access and Equatorial Power Ltd. is the most advanced mini-grid on the African continent. It is the result of a strong African-European alliance and is a real game-changer for the energy landscape in Uganda and the continent at large.

This project, which sets new records in terms of value and replicability, connects over 3,000 households and more than 700 businesses, impacting 15,000 people and providing clean, reliable electricity, as well as a range of other services.

The project addresses the urgent needs of the local population, which lacks access to clean, reliable energy and clean water. The project is scalable to the entire Lake Victoria region (the largest lake in Africa) and can be rolled out across other African countries.

Beyond delivering affordable, reliable and renewable electricity, the Lolwe mini-grid features a productive hub that will transform raw materials into value-adding products, addressing basic needs that are currently insufficiently met on the islands. The hub includes water-pumping, distribution and purification services, modern fish-drying facilities and ice-making devices to conserve the daily catch of fish.

An electric mobility solution for fishing boats and motorcycles completes the integrated and green energy-enabled infrastructure on the site, for the benefit of users. ENGIE Equatorial is also providing business incubation and asset-financing services to empower the growth of local businesses. 

The Lolwe project is a truly scalable model – matching green infrastructure and ICT innovation to deliver real impact. This is the beginning of a "mini-grid 2.0" model that delivers more for investors and communities alike. It is a significant milestone and benchmark for the energy access space.

Riccardo Ridolfi, CEO of ENGIE Equatorial, says: "With the Lowe project, we demonstrate our vision of energy access: electricity to us is not an end but a means to offer other essential services like clean water, agro-processing, and electric mobility as well. This is the vision we believe will truly impact communities and bring financially and socially sustainable development to the African continent."

Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO of ENGIE Energy Access, comments: "The Lolwe mini-grid's distributed renewable technology and integrated business model will significantly improve the lives and economic perspectives of the underserved communities living far from the grid. The Lolwe mini-grid is setting the stage for the next generation of decentralized energy infrastructure, and will help to accelerate universal energy access."

With adequate institutional support, ENGIE Equatorial is committed to investing substantial amounts of capital to replicate this project across all the islands of Lake Victoria and beyond.

  • Published in Energy
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PROMO: Register With Premier Recruitment To Work Abroad & Get a Free Smartphone

Premier Recruitment, a fully registered external labour recruitment company with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, has announced that Ugandan youths who register now for Dubai and Qatar jobs stand a chance to win free smartphones in the promo drive running until end of January 2022.

According to an announcement posted via the company’s socials, a variety of jobs in Dubai and Qatar have been lined up in this promo drive ranging from Airport Jobs, to Domestic and Non-Domestic jobs all on offer with attractive salaries and extra benefits.

Premier Recruitment says for one to win a free smartphone in this promo, simply apply to register for any of the jobs that suit your qualification and capability, and you’ll automatically be given the spacious smartphone to keep you abreast with what’s trending all over the world.

“Tell a friend to tell a friend that you can get a job in Qatar or Dubai and start your journey to financial freedom. Register with us TODAY and we will give you a smartphone to help you stay informed and trendy,” the company posted via its socials.

Some of the jobs listed on offer in Qatar include; Bagagge handlers, Customer Service Agents, Store Keepers, Cargo Service Agent, Baggage Supervisor, and so many other jobs, all with salary ranging between UGX 1M – 6M depending on the job post and seniority of experience.

The requirements to apply for the juicy Qatar and Dubai Jobs are that one should be a Ugandan aged between 22-32 years, and should also possess a valid passport, an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (CV), and be able to speak English.

According to Premier Recruitment, the benefits that come along with the job include; free meals, free transport, free accommodation, free medical insurance plus an exclusive return air ticket awaits you once you reach the expiration of your two-year contract.

Other varying benefits include having your monthly salary deposited in your bank account here in Uganda, exclusive payment for overtime workers, free transportation to and from work, enjoy free unlimited Wi-Fi internet access, and an offer to renew your contract if a candidate wishes to continue working after the two years.

  • Published in Events
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Billionaire Born Today: East Africa's Business Mogul Sudhir Ruparelia Clocks 66 Years

East Africa's celebrated billionaire, money magnet, business mogul, honorary consul of the Republic of Nepal to Uganda HE.Dr Sudhir Ruparelia has today clocked 66yrs old.

Thousands of young people he has mentored, relatives, friends, and people from various corners of the world have heaped birthday wishes to Sudhir describing him as a statesman who has built Uganda's economy from turmoil to paradise.

But Who Is This Mogul

Dr Sudhir Ruparelia is the founder and Chairman of the Ruparelia Group, one of Uganda's largest business conglomerates with investments in financial services, real estate, education services, hospitality, agriculture, and media/broadcasting.

He is also the Honorary Consul, of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to Uganda.

A true definition of a self-made billionaire entrepreneur Sudhir was born in Uganda in 1956. In 1972 having relocated to the United Kingdom with his family he completed his O and A levels before working at various companies as an accountant.

He returned to Uganda in 1985 having amassed savings of only 65 million UGX, he and his wife have built the Ruparelia Group into an over $1.1 billion conglomerate.

Through the Ruparelia Foundation Group a foundation established in 2012, they are regular and substantial supporters of various corporate social activities in sports, healthcare, arts and culture, heritage and religion, environmental and wildlife conservation, agricultural research, education and talent development.

He is also the Chairman of Meera Investments Limited the property development arm of the Ruparelia group. Its goal is to feed the unmet need for affordable yet modern residential and working space for a fast-growing Ugandan economy that was emerging from years of war and underinvestment in the real estate sector.

Meera Investments is now the largest developer of commercial and residential space, with over 300 properties in Kampala and other major towns like Mukono, Jinja, Mbale and Mbarara. Meera also has the largest number of ongoing real state projects and is the largest private owner of commercial land in Kampala.

  • Published in Events
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