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South Africa, Germany to establish a task force to drive green hydrogen production, trade

German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck

German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck

Photo by Bloomberg

28th June 2023

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has, on behalf of the South African government, signed a joint declaration for the planned establishment of a South African-German Hydrogen Task Force that will help to drive the commercial viability of green hydrogen projects, industry and infrastructure in both countries.

German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck signed the declaration on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany during a bi-national commission held in South Africa this week.

The purpose of the joint declaration is to create a South African-German Hydrogen Task Force within the framework of the South African-German Energy Partnership, which will formalise the bilateral exchange of information and assessments on upscaling green hydrogen in the respective countries and support the establishment of projects resulting in recommendations for political dialogue.

The task force will also facilitate market access and seek to promote trade of green hydrogen and power-to-X (PtX) products between South Africa and Germany, and promote the creation of a network between government, industry and research institutes from both countries.

Further, the priorities of the task force will include acting as a platform for knowledge and information sharing about building and upscaling a green hydrogen economy in South Africa and Germany, as well as exploring opportunities to support the export of green hydrogen products and PtX products from South Africa to Germany, such as by providing support for bilateral contracts between South African producers and German offtakers and exploring partnership opportunities between ports, besides others.

The task force will also identify key challenges to be tackled to support the development of the South African and German value creation chain, including assisting grey hydrogen producers in their transition from grey to green hydrogen and supporting manufacturers of electrolysers and other critical components to identify business opportunities.

It will also explore available funding mechanisms to support the market ramp-up of green hydrogen and PtX value chains, such as region-specific global hydrogen tenders for sub-Saharan Africa.

The potential of green hydrogen to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors, which are sectors that cannot be fully decarbonised through renewable energy and direct electrification or through renewable energy and battery storage, has resulted in significant global interest in recent years.

"South Africa's Investment Strategy aims to position the country as a key preferred African investment destination by attracting and facilitating quality foreign and domestic direct investment into the country in a well-coordinated manner, anchored by quality institutions and robust economic infrastructure networks," Ramokgopa said.

This is part of the country’s important endeavour of advancing its National Development Plan investment target by 2030.

"The Country Investment Strategy identifies five Big Frontiers, which are nascent sectors with the potential to have a transformative role in South Africa’s economy. One of the Big Frontiers is green hydrogen, owing to its ability to place South Africa at the global forefront of green energy," he said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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