South Africa: Hydrogen Energy to Power the Future
Due to a rich endowment of renewable sources such as solar, wind and biomass, South Africa is well-positioned to capitalize on the rapidly developing global hydrogen economy. With unparalleled access to platinum resources – a critical ingredient for the production of hydrogen energy – South Africa has the potential to become a key contributor to the global green hydrogen energy market.
Produced without fossil fuels, green hydrogen energy is formed as a result of a chemical reaction made from electrolysis and water. Production costs of green hydrogen comprise the cost of the renewable energy used for electrolysis and the water supply, making green hydrogen an alluring alternative investment for industries looking for zero-carbon energy sources. Hydrogen energy may also be used in the form of hydrogen fuel cells to generate energy or electricity, which has the advantage of being stored for later use or export, giving fuel cell technology the potential to play an important role in disaster management.
Hydrogen Society Roadmap
South Africa’s Hydrogen Society Roadmap (HSRM) is set to be presented for Cabinet approval either at the end of this year or early next year and will highlight how the country aims to move to green hydrogen and integrate related technologies into various sectors of the economy. The policy document will outline the costs, challenges, benefits and the potential of green hydrogen, with the aim of incorporating the findings into the county’s renewable energy plan.
Spearheaded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), a feasibility study to develop a hydrogen valley anchored in the metals-rich PGM mines in Limpopo will identify opportunities to develop hydrogen hubs and infrastructure. The study will be in collaboration with Anglo American, Engie, the South African National Development Institute and Bambili Energy and will explore the country’s potential for green hydrogen production and supply.
The hydrogen valley will stretch approximately 835km from Anglo American’s Mogalakwena PGM mine near Mokopane in the Limpopo province in northern South Africa, along the industrial and commercial corridor to Johannesburg and to the south coast of Durban.
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