The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) has mandated the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to actively form partnerships with the private sector in funding opportunities to support the growth of the hydrogen economy.
This is according to Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola. He was addressing an online indaba held with the aim of promoting the hydrogen economy as a major opportunity for South Africa to address the challenges of developing an inclusive economy. The session took place under the theme: “Hydrogen Economy - An Opportunity for South Africa to Create an Inclusive Energy Sector with Significant Black Participation.”
Majola said it was becoming clearer that the hydrogen economy is a potential “game changer” for the whole world and South Africa was well-positioned to capitalise on this rapidly developing global hydrogen economy.
“It is imperative that we promote public-private sector linkages that will be critical to the development of the entire green hydrogen value chain. These collaborative efforts are expected to accelerate the development of a sustainable and inclusive local green hydrogen economy. Government is committed to working with all stakeholders to create and advance an enabling environment for the development of this new industry as part of our re-industrialisation strategy and to become an exporter of cost effective green hydrogen,” said Majola.
He added that South Africa has an abundance of renewable energy resources, providing a significant opportunity to be a player in the global green hydrogen energy market and a leading role in the global energy transition towards a net carbon zero future.
Majola also revealed that in collaboration with the private sector, a feasibility study was underway as the first phase of the Platinum Valley Initiative, which will drive the planning, design, construction and commissioning of projects related to the development of a Hydrogen Valley. The study will support plans to develop a Hydrogen Valley linking the Northern Cape, Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal.
“Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) will be supported to take advantage of opportunities in the just transition to a green economy. South Africa's Hydrogen Valley will identify concrete project opportunities for kick-starting hydrogen activities in promising hubs. The aim is to boost economic growth and job creation, drive the development of new industries, increase value-add to the country's platinum reserves, and reduce the country's carbon footprint,” said Majola.
Majola also annoounced that the dtic was in the process of reviewing its Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP) so that it may assist in alleviating some of the infrastructure costs associated with hydrogen production, fuelling and transport facilities.
Issued by The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition