ISA’s focus on Green Hydrogen
With H2 South Africa and the Department of Science and Innovation leading the way, South Africa has been exploring the potential of green hydrogen as an alternative energy source since 2007. South Africa has several advantages that could make it a globally competitive hydrogen producer, including:
- Abundant renewable-energy potential in the form of onshore wind and solar power – with renewable energy being the costliest component of green-hydrogen production;
- The largest reserves of platinum-group metals in the world – with platinum being a major component of hydrogen fuel cells and polymer-electrolyte-membrane electrolysis;
- A deep expertise in using the Fischer–Tropsch
- Process to produce hydrocarbons such as diesel, petrol, and kerosene;
- Large tracts of relatively cheap land for renewable-energy production;
- A large electrical grid for renewable energy distribution; and
- A large domestic industrial sector as a source of demand for green hydrogen.
Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) has been working with the Northern Cape and Gauteng provincial governments to develop catalytic green-hydrogen projects that will underpin provincial green hydrogen strategies. The Northern Cape will be envisaged as the production hub and Gauteng as the hub for domestic demand. These strategies and projects, together with the Department of Science and Innovation’s Hydrogen Society Roadmap for South Africa, will be the foundation of a national green-hydrogen strategy. In November 2021, the Northern Cape launched its green-hydrogen strategy at the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26.
During SIDSSA21 three (3) major green-hydrogen Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) were signed. These MOAs include agreements between:
- The Northern Cape and Sasol, for Sasol to be the anchor developer of the planned Boegoebaai
- Green Hydrogen Special Economic Zone;
- The Northern Cape and the Port of Rotterdam, for the Port of Rotterdam to act as a demand aggregator for green hydrogen into Europe;
Gauteng and Sasol, for Sasol to develop green-hydrogen production facilities in Gauteng that will be aimed at decarbonizing the domestic industry.