Germany looks to Angola hydrogen production to meet energy transition needsJune 12, 2023
The central African country is seeking to profit from water rushing through its massive dam.
Angola has recently experienced substantial rainfall in the region of its hydroelectric dam, filling a huge upstream reservoir and providing Germany with ideas about hydrogen production that could serve its energy transition needs.
The excess reservoir water is already gushing down into the river valley below the dam.
Two German companies, Gauff and Conjuncta are currently working with Sonangol, a state-owned energy company in Angola, for green hydrogen production using some of the Lauca plant’s hydroelectricity. That plant generates electricity at the dam, which is currently at its maximum potential in terms of water reservoir capacity.
The project is expected to supply Germany with H2 as early as 2025. This $1.3 billion project will play a vital role in the European country’s green energy system transformation. Europe’s largest economy is seeking the renewable power it needs when it cannot rely on solar and wind due to shifting weather and daytime conditions.
Testing Germany’s hydrogen production and consumption needs through renewable energy.
Angola’s natural geography is the ideal layout for hydroelectricity generation. The deep gorges and meandering banks of the Cuanza River seem as though they were specifically designed for this purpose. Lauca hydropower was established with that understanding and now Germany is looking to use that renewable energy to produce green H2.
Germany doesn’t have the resources within its own borders, so its government recently opened offices in other countries including Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, with private-sector projects currently in their planning stages in Morocco and Namibia.
That said, the Angola project already has somewhat of a head start as the hydroelectric generation is already in place, meaning that hydrogen production will be able to start earlier.
Too much electricity
Lauca dam currently has only four of the six turbines are currently in operation. According to the plant’s director Moises Jaime, the four turbines are generating 856 megawatts of electricity. That said, the plant’s total capacity is over 2,000 megawatts.
That said, there isn’t enough local demand for full production. Therefore, the additional power it can produce would be well suited to Germany’s needs, potentially without cutting into local supply.
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