SA can benefit from green hydrogen strategy


Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa believes that a proper green hydrogen strategy can help solve South Africa’s energy crisis and make the world a cleaner place by 2050.

South Africa’s second green hydrogen summit is being hosted in Cape Town this week. Ramaphosa, who describes the summit as extremely important for the country, says the South African investment strategy approved by the cabinet earlier this year lists green hydrogen as one of the major strategic sectors expected to attract foreign and domestic investment.

“South Africa intends to position itself as a globally competitive player in this dynamic and growing industry. Since the last summit, we have made significant progress in building the green hydrogen industry in our country.

“The green hydrogen economy has a prominent role to play in our country’s transition to the use of renewable energy resources and provides jobs and support to vulnerable communities and small businesses.”

He says it is estimated that the green hydrogen economy has the potential to add around 3.6% to the country’s GDP by 2050 and create around 370,000 jobs.

“We must act purposefully to utilize the potential of the green hydrogen economy. About 64 countries, which are responsible for emitting 89% of emissions worldwide, aim to emit no more emissions by 2050.

“The global demand for green hydrogen is expected to increase sevenfold by 2050. For the world to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees, green hydrogen will need to make up 10% to 20% of the global energy mix.”

Ramaphosa says South Africa has committed itself to ambitious targets in terms of reducing emissions.

“Our own estimates indicate that green hydrogen has the potential to reduce the emission of our gases by 10% to 15% and contribute to our country’s long-term energy security.”

Ramaphosa believes that funding green hydrogen projects requires innovative financing structures. These funds must be sourced from various stakeholders.

“In June this year, South Africa signed an agreement with the intention of launching the SA-H2 Fund. It is an innovative mixed financing fund that will facilitate the development of a green hydrogen sector and circular economy in South Africa.

“SA-H2 aims to secure $1 billion in funding, raised directly in South Africa or through indirect channels. The fund is a partnership of private and public enterprises, locally and globally.”

Ramaphosa says it is encouraging that a memorandum of cooperation will be signed at the conference by three multinational companies in the green hydrogen mobility space – Sasol, Anglo American and BMW.

“Sasol will serve as a supplier to Anglo and BMW, as part of their focus on commercial and passenger fleet transformation.

“I wish business and government delegations at this summit the best of luck as we work to shape Africa’s green hydrogen agenda for the benefit of our economies and societies.”