This Friday, SAfm’s Udo Carelse spoke to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:
Carelse: The Department of Science is calling on South Africans to apply for funding to build the hydrogen economy.
Creamer: This was a call made in a wonderful advertisement placed today. The Department of Science and Innovation, using its Technology Innovation Agency, has asked South Africans to submit their applications for funding to build the hydrogen economy. Submissions for funding will be done through the Technology Innovation Agency, which has requested South Africans to outline what they can contribute when it comes to green hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell innovation, and the agency will then consider funding their proposals.
The agency has set aside two days in September when they will speak to the various applicants on Microsoft Teams between 10 o'clock at one o'clock. Every single South African province will be covered. Then they will decide on which of these applications will go forward for funding consideration. Those seeking funding assistance will have to meet certain criteria. First of all, applications have to be from South Africans and proposals have to involve something that is going to promote the hydrogen economy in a manner that the already-drawn-up Hydrogen Society Roadmap has laid out. It is a massive opportunity coming at a great time when the whole world is looking at green hydrogen. Green hydrogen can give South Africa total sovereignty when it comes to energy, with renewable energy forming an integral part.
Of the generation of green hydrogen. Once you’ve got renewable energy and green hydrogen, your country has got total energy freedom, and this is what South Africa is targeting now, with the timely publication today of a full page advertisement, which is headlined as “Call for funding applications: hydrogen economy”.
Carelse: Exxaro, which is already generating wind energy, is considering a move into the green hydrogen sector.
Creamer: So, everybody is talking green hydrogen. Exxaro published incredible results yesterday. I mean, their earnings were up 147% of what they were for the same period of last year. That turned into R10-billion for the half year that they have got there as earnings. That is all through coal. But Exxaro is such a far-seeing company that they have been planning for years to go into renewable energy. They already are producing wind energy, 200 MW of wind energy is already being produced by them at a margin of a whopping 80%, which is unbelievable.
Now they are saying, look, in this industry of renewable energy, you have got to take another step and that is into green hydrogen, because that gives you the green molecules that you can then put into fuel cells that use South Africa’s platinum, and those molecules can power the car you drive, as well as buses, trucks, trains, trams and ships, everything. So, this is something South Africans are grasping at strongly, but so is the rest of the world.
Carelse: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly.