Gas, Hydrogen Key to Egypt's Transition Plan

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Egypt is not wavering on its commitment to gas as a transition fuel, but it is updating its energy strategy to include a bigger role for renewables and hydrogen ahead of the COP27 climate summit in 2022, which Cairo will host. Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla tells Energy Intelligence that a national strategy for hydrogen is currently the priority but that Cairo is also studying opportunities in carbon capture and storage (CCS). “Coming to green hydrogen will take some time. There is technology that needs to be validated and proven. Until such time, we are looking at gray and blue hydrogen,” he says. Egypt has provisional deals in hydrogen with Belgium’s Deme, Germany’s Siemens and Emirati Fertiglobe, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will carry out an economic model strategy. Eni and BP, two of Egypt's top upstream investors, have held talks with Cairo on green hydrogen and carbon emissions reduction projects. Egypt’s largest greenhouse gas emitter is its energy sector and the focus is a rapid increase of renewable energy in power generation. Egypt is targeting 42% renewables by 2035, with natural gas representing 65% of Egypt’s hydrocarbons consumption. Green hydrogen could prove challenging, however. The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies notes that with 61 megawatts per hour of renewable electricity required to produce 1 ton of green hydrogen, Egypt would need 110,585 gigawatts per hour to switch from gray to green, requiring 36 GW of installed capacity. Last year, Egypt’s renewable capacity represented just 22.5% — 5,982 MW — of what is needed.

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