oil and gas

Alternative energies: production of green hydrogen should not jeorpardise transition strategy (report)

December 6, 2022

(TAP)- The production of green hydrogen should not jeorpardise the national strategy of transition to renewables and decarbonisation objectives, German Green Foundation Heinrich Böll Stiftung said in a recent report.

The report contains remarks made by experts at a workshop held by the foundation last October 12 in Tunis.

The production of green hydrogen needs to conform with high standards in relation to the social dimension and sustainability as much it has to be respectful of human rights. Likewise, it must be geared towards promoting local value added and the access of local consumers to energy.

Aïda Delpuech, author of the report, brought together recommendations put forth by participants in this workshop for Tunisian decision-makers.

The development of standardised processes for consultation with national and regional actors (communities, independent experts and civil society) in accordance with the principle of prior and informed consent is one in a series of recommendations.

Emphasis is also laid on the need to guarantee the right of local communities to reject projects of renewable energies. Transparancy and a win-win scenarios involving locals can be helpful to undertake such projects.

The participation of local communities needs to be defined by decision-makers along with benefits of renewable energy installations.

An alternative to the public-private partnership would be useful; this can be made possible by means of encouraging and facilitating the funding of projects of decentralised energy co-operatives or public-public partnerships.

The author said Tunisia is currently working on a national strategy to develop green hydrogen. The 'clean fuel' approach is seen amid energy transition across the globe as the most adequate response to energy deficit and the decarbonisation of the economy, mainly in transport and industry.

Severa mchallenges are linked to this new energy strategy, in particular, the dynamics of domination as well as social and environmental risks.

The strategy is currently under preparation by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy as part of a project implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It is expected to be finalised in 2024.

Preliminary discussions have failed so far to involve civil society which expressed concern regarding the protection of local communities and resources.

'Berlin has been forging new bilateral partnerships since 2020 with a view to developing green hydrogen overseas; special attention has been lent to Africa and the MENA region,' reads the report.

'Like Morocco, Egypt, Namibia, Chile, the UAE and many other countries, Tunisia wishes to carve out a place in this nascent market.'

To this end, Tunisia signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2020 to put in place a Tunisian-German Alliance on Green Hydrogen.

'This new market can prompt the inflow of foreign currency - hence the interest shown by Tunisian authorities- to the detriment of environmental safety and energy sovereignty,' further reads the report.

tap.info

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