On Monday, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck traveled to Namibia in quest of green hydrogen as part of Germany’s ongoing effort to find new energy partners. Habeck is in southern Africa to look for green hydrogen. Mr. Habeck is looking at the possibility of producing hydrogen using the wind and sunshine of Africa as a means by which it could be transported to Germany. However, while he was in a country that was formerly ruled by the German empire, he stated that it was essential for both countries to make progress.
On Monday, he conveyed his message to the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, saying, “If you have energy to spend, and I know that conditions are fantastic and lovely in Namibia, then there is a European interest.” He said that he is aware that conditions in Namibia are great and amazing. “But the very first [thing] that needs to be taken care of is making sure that you, your country, and the people who live in your country have access to a dependable and cost-effective energy system.” In the meantime, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was in India in an effort to forge better ties with India in the areas of commerce and climate change.
However, she was not successful in convincing India to renounce its purchase of oil from Russia or to adhere to a price ceiling of $60 per barrel that had been set by the G7 nations. According to Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the amount of oil imported by the European Union (from Russia) is six times greater than the amount that India has imported. “We don’t import gas, hence the price is infinity times higher.” He implied that it was inappropriate for Europe to make decisions that prioritized its energy requirements and then expect India to do something else.Germany was formerly dependent on Russia for its energy supply; but, since the conflict in Ukraine broke out, Germany has been looking for alternate supplies in North America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Green hydrogen fuel is also an essential component of Germany’s plan to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by the year 2045. A long-term agreement for gas supply was just reached by Germany and Qatar this week, and a test hydrogen shipment from the United Arab Emirates arrived in Hamburg in October. In Windhoek, Mr. Habeck signed the preliminary memorandum of understanding for Namibian exports to Germany, but there is not yet a binding agreement between the two countries. Later on, the deputy to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will make a trip to South Africa in order to meet with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at a German-African business forum. According to Mr. Habeck, “African countries are crucial partners in both the diversification of our supply chains and the decarbonization of global energy systems.” This is especially significant in light of the fact that the effects of climate change are being felt to a greater extent in southern Africa. Between the years 1884 and 1915, Germany ruled over Namibia as the colonial power in what was then known as German South West Africa. Last year, they issued an official apology for their treatment of the Herero and Nama people during a war that took place between 1904 and 1908, admitting that their actions amounted to genocide. Officials from Germany have stated that Mr. Habeck will be discussing the reconciliation process during their meeting.