South Africa Plans to Become World Leader in Green Hydrogen

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South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has declared the country’s intention to become a world leader in green hydrogen.

The President said the country is determined to make full use of its substantial endowments to meet the challenges of climate change and to achieve a just transition that benefits all its people.

President Ramaphosa said this while delivering a keynote address at the opening of the inaugural South Africa Green Hydrogen Summit, held in Cape Town.

The summit showcases the country’s offering as a large-scale, low-cost, world-class green hydrogen production hub and total value chain investment destination.

It builds on the opportunities identified during the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (SIDSSA) of 2021.

The President told delegates at the summit that the potential for South Africa to emerge as a significant player in the green hydrogen value chain is immense.

The country looks forward to welcoming more of the firms in the green hydrogen value chain and associated technologies into the market.

“We hope to see these international firms partnering with South African firms as we increase our renewable energy footprint, green hydrogen manufacturing capability and local production of value-added products,” he said.

The Green Hydrogen Summit is taking place soon after the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

President Ramaphosa said South Africa used the platform of COP 27 to elaborate on its just green transition.

The government recently released for public comment a Just Energy Transition Investment Plan as the basis for the country’s pathway towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. According to the plan, South Africa will need approximately $98 billion over the next five years to enable a just transition and achieve its ambitious emissions reduction targets.

Green hydrogen was identified as a “Big Frontier” in the Country Investment Strategy, indicating that it represents both current and future growth and investment potential for South Africa.

The President highlighted that globally, the demand for green hydrogen and green hydrogen-based products, such as ammonia and synthetic jet fuels, is rising significantly.

“This presents a unique opportunity for South Africa to link its mineral endowment with its renewable energy endowment to drive industrialization.

“At the same, it will create jobs, attract investment, bring development to rural provinces and support a just transition from fossil fuels. This Summit is an opportunity to tell the South African story in this rapidly growing sector,” President Ramaphosa said.

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