H2ATLAS-AFRICA project - Building Bridges through Capacity Building

From May 14 to June 6, 2024, 31 scientists from various African countries participated in an intensive workshop series, gaining insights into green hydrogen atlas development from experts at Forschungszentrum Jülich. The workshop took place as part of the H2ATLAS AFRICA project. The programme included lectures on diverse topics, exclusive tours of advanced computing facilities, and excursions to energy sites.

The H2ATLAS-AFRICA project has shown that huge potential exists to produce green hydrogen in Africa. The atlas provides relevant information for all stakeholders as efforts to exploit these potentials kicks off. Critical for this is the need to have local know-how and capacity in the different countries to support the process and the overall energy transition at home in these countries.  

In the H2ATLAS project, as part of its knowledge transfer component, 31 scientists have just concluded a comprehensive four-week workshop series held from May 14 to June 6, 2024. The workshops hosted delegates from the 31 different countries that participated in the project, including WASCAL and SASSCAL regions of Africa, alongside Mauritania, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. The workshop sessions provided insights into the various stages of the green hydrogen potential atlas development.

The stay of the 31 scientists was closely supervised by the project coordinator, Dr. Solomon Agbo, who welcomed the visitors from the African countries with a welcome speech at Forschungszentrum Jülich on the first day. The topic-oriented lectures and sessions were conducted by experts from the various institutes of Forschungszentrum Jülich (IEK-3, IBG-3, IEK-5, and IEK-3/STE).

Comprehensive Insights into the Aspects of Energy Supply and Green Hydrogen Production

The broad spectrum of topics included global hydrogen export, hydrogen demand in industry, land eligibility analysis, and energy system modelling for estimating hydrogen potential. Additional subjects included water resources analysis, remote sensing, land surface process simulations, groundwater sustainability, human water use, solar-driven CO2 reduction, water splitting to chemical fuels and hydrogen, photovoltaics simulation and emulation, characterisation of photovoltaic modules, perovskite solar cells and modules, local impact assessment, employment impact analysis, and hydrogen feasibility studies for the realization of H2ATLAS -AFRICA results in Sub-Saharan countries.

The delegates also experienced exclusive tours of the high-performance computers at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) and the quantum computer at the Jülich UNified Infrastructure for Quantum (JUNIQ) computing facility. In addition, excursions were organized to RWE's thermal energy production plant, the open-cast mining site at Elsdorf, and the Kraftwerk Heimbach hydro-power plant within North Rhine-Westphalia.

The lectures climaxed with an empowering send-off note from Prof. Uwe Rau of IEK-5, who encouraged the delegates to leverage their newfound knowledge to make significant impacts in their respective fields. The programme concluded with the presentation of Certificates of Participation. Dr. Enoch Bessah from Ghana expressed gratitude on behalf of the delegates to the BMBF, Forschungszentrum Jülich, all the experts and the organizing team for facilitating such an enlightening and impactful experience.