Eskom says 'window of opportunity open' for green hydrogen

South Africa’s ‘hydrogen economy’ ambition has gathered momentum in recent years with hydrogen touted as the clean molecule the world needs to secure a sustainable energy future. Hydrogen is clean-burning, can be produced from renewable sources of power, and therefore has a promising role to play in the global effort to address the effects of climate change. Platinum group metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater announced recently that it’s assessing the generation of green hydrogen on its mine sites to power PGM-catalysed hydrogen fuel cell mobility. And a recent study conducted by the Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) which focused on exploring the emerging export opportunities in the development of green hydrogen, found that South Africa is well-placed to build a new and sustainable export commodity in the form of green hydrogen. But substantial demand-side and supply-side investment is required, supported by proactive government policy and forward-looking regulatory initiatives. Michael Avery spoke to Prof Dmitri Bessarabov, Director of the Dept of Science and Innovation National Center of Competence : Hydrogen Infrastructure (HySA Infrastructure); Mandy Rambharos, Head of Eskom’s Just Energy Transition Office; Matthew Burnell, partner in the environmental and regulatory Practise at White & Case LLP; Dr Minnesh Bipath, Head of the Energy Secretariat at the South African National Energy Development Institute; and Muhammed Patel, TIPS researcher and author of a recent study entitled “Green Hydrogen: A potential export commodity in a new global marketplace”.