South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that the country has initiated a green hydrogen project together with energy giant, Sasol and the Industrial Development Corporation. In his media address that took place on 24 May 2022, the president said that the project would receive support from the German government with the objective of supplying green hydrogen to the European Union – which is looking to import 10 million tons a year by 2030.
“The Boegoebaai project presents an excellent opportunity for South Africa and Germany to cooperate in the fields of green hydrogen development, energy security, job creation, just transition and climate action.”
In 2020, German and South Africa in collaboration with France and the United Kingdom and the US also entered a partnership called Just Energy Transition whereby the objective is of the partnership is to achieve “Net Zero” carbon emissions by the year 2050.
Green Hydrogen in South Africa
The development of the green hydrogen economy has been awarded economic priority for the country, which has the world’s largest platinum reserves. It was further confirmed that the Green Hydrogen project has been earmarked as a Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) in the South African National Development Plan (NDP).
The developing project is taking place in Boegoebaai in the Northern Cape province of South Africa whereby the country’s solar and wind resources will be used to export green hydrogen at an enormous scale.
According to reports, Boegoebaai has the potential to produce up to 400 kilotons of green hydrogen per annum, which will require renewable energy of 9 gigawatts or approximately 20% of South Africa’s current installed energy capacity.
Rising oil prices and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have forced many countries around the world to seriously consider transitioning away from fossil fuels at a much faster rate.
South Africa’s size and climate provides for favourable conditions for large-scale, high-quality renewable energy sources from solar and wind energy.