South Africa’s quest to become a leading global green hydrogen player has received a major boost as the country’s Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, and the Vice Chancellor of Germany, Robert Habeck, this week signed a joint declaration of intent to establish the South African German Hydrogen Task Force.
According to Masopha Moshoeshoe, an executive in the investment and infrastructure office of South Africa’s presidency, Germany will assist South Africa in developing markets, facilitating imports and linking producers with technology partners.
Additionally, the agreement with Germany will connect South African green hydrogen project developers to potential funders in Germany, as well as link them with off takers in Germany. Germany will also collaborate with South African green hydrogen project developers in creating projects in South Africa that are commercially viable that can meet international green hydrogen standards.
Germany a key green hydrogen target market for South Africa
Masopha Moshoeshoe also revealed that South Africa had a pipeline of more than R300 billion of projects at different stages of development.
“Many of them are at a pre-feasibility stage, others advancing to feasibility, and those elements require funding. These projects are also aimed partly at the domestic market, but also at supplying hydrogen to produce green products for international markets and an important element of this joint declaration of intent to assist in creating,” Moshoeshoe said.
“There are a number of countries in different parts of the world that have the ability to produce green hydrogen at internationally cost-competitive prices. And there are specific markets in the world that will not be able to meet their own green hydrogen demand because of factors like not enough renewable energy and not enough lines to be able to produce it and other such factors.”
“So there’s this linkage between those that have the ability to produce and those that have the demands. Some of the key demand markets are Germany, if we look, let’s say, within the European context, or Germany as well as the Netherlands. The Netherlands through the port of Rotterdam already imports about 13% of Europe’s energy requirements,” Moshoeshoe concluded.
To meet its decarbonisation plans, the European Union is looking to import green hydrogen from Africa. African countries such as Namibia, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt and South Africa are looking to capitalise on Europe’s green hydrogen demand and set up projects to produce green hydrogen for export.
Furthermore, several African countries have started attracting investment in the green hydrogen space. Last week, the Netherlands and Denmark launched a $1 billion green hydrogen fund in South Africa, which is earmarked at blended financing of green hydrogen projects in the country. A similar fund was launched in Namibia last year.