01 April 2023 11:05 PM

Speech by President El-Sisi at Round Table on “Investing in the Future of Energy: Green Hydrogen”

Tuesday، 08 November 2022 - 02:59 PM

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Honorable Chancellor Olaf Scholz,

The Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Your Highnesses,

At the outset, I would like to thank you for being here today at this important meeting. I would also like to thank His Excellency Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of Germany, for co-chairing this round-table which discusses one of the most important issues on confronting climate change, if not the most important of all: investing in the future of energy, specifically in green hydrogen.

You would agree with me that "green hydrogen" has probably become the most commonly used term in the past few years in the context of making a shift to renewable energy and reducing reliance on traditional energy sources. This comes at a time particularly when the energy crisis that the world is currently going through is imposing on us all a real challenge in securing energy supply which our countries need, thus avoiding breaching duties with regard to facing the global climate crisis or falling short of the goals we agreed upon and the national policies through which we contribute to this effort. And here comes the green hydrogen as one of the most prominent solutions, in terms of making a shift to green economy in the coming years. It represents a real opportunity for economic development that is compatible with efforts to confront climate change and the Paris Agreement goals.

In fact, many countries have already begun to take serious steps in this direction, whether through formulating national hydrogen policies or setting ambitious time-bound goals for the gradual transition to green hydrogen, as a main source of energy, either through local production, import or both. Egypt was one of the first of these countries that have realized early on the opportunities available in this field, based on its huge potential in the production of clean energy. This, in turn, would enable it to become a global hub for green hydrogen production in the medium and long term.

As part of the practical translation of this and as a living example of the principle of "implementation"- the theme which we are meeting under- I am launching today, with the Honorable Prime Minister of Norway, the first phase of the project of constructing a green hydrogen plant with a capacity of 100 megawatts in " Ain Sokhna". It is a practical model for the stimulating investment partnership for sustainable economic development that is based, in addition to the governments’ role, on the national and foreign private sector to work hand in hand in this fruitful sector. Today, we’ll have the opportunity to get acquainted with all aspects of this project from the companies implementing it which are participating with us in this dialogue.

Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Your Highnesses,

We have agreed that frankness and openness are the only means to move forward toward our common goals in a coordinated manner.

And so, allow me to convey to you some of our concerns here in Egypt and in other friendly developing countries:

First: Despite the opportunities that the hydrogen sector provides which are being already conveyed into projects in many countries, the share of developing countries of the suggested projects does not exceed more than two projects from about 680 suggested ones in the hydrogen sector worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency. It is, thus, clear that developing countries remain the least to benefit from the opportunities represented by the shift to green hydrogen at an accelerated pace. This is due to their weak technological capabilities in this new field and the lack of the infrastructure needed for transfer and storage and supply chains creation which are necessary for safe trading. This is in addition to the weak funding flows and lack of sustainable investments that are directed to them.

Second: Even in the few cases in which the developing countries could take a steady step in this field, Egypt, as an example, still has to face the challenges resulting from the fact that some countries support local green hydrogen producers, in a way that reduces their production cost. This causes imbalance in the global market of hydrogen and contributes to undermining competitiveness with regard to green hydrogen produced in developing countries, compared to their counterparts in the developed countries. Furthermore, there are technical challenges associated with the criteria and requirements for hydrogen trade and the identification of its sources, which must be flexible while maintaining the principles of transparency.

Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Your Highnesses,

I raise these concerns to you for I am positive that our dialogue today has to come up with clear operational steps, on which we all agree, to reach mechanisms and effective solutions that drive us toward achieving our common goals in energy transformation. On this basis and in line with the principle of “implementation” on which we are focusing at this summit, allow me to announce a new initiative Egypt and Belgium have worked on over the past months in coordination with a number of partners.

In partnership with the Prime Minister of Belgium, Mr. Alexander De Croo, I am pleased to announce today the launch of the Global Renewable Hydrogen Forum, which aims at establishing a permanent platform for dialogue between hydrogen-producing countries and hydrogen-consuming countries and the private sector, organizations and financial institutions operating in this field. The dialogue’s main objective is to coordinate policies and procedures and create paths for trade and investment in hydrogen, thus contributing to accelerating the pace of the just transition we aspire to have.

In conclusion, since this round-table brings together some of the largest hydrogen-producing and hydrogen-consuming countries and heads of organizations and companies operating in this sector, I look forward to a meaningful, fruitful and constructive discussion in which we listen to different approaches and opinions and learn about the best practices and accumulated experiences. I am confident that, today, our discussions will result in further understanding of the nature of the issue and greater awareness of the scale of work which we have to accomplish in this regard to meet our aspirations.

Thank you.

I look forward to our extended discussion.

Related Stories

Most Visited

From To