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Hydrogen declaration with Germany “won’t cost SA”

The joint declaration of intent signed by the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, and German Vice Chancellor, Robert Habeck, will not have any financial implications for South Africa.

The declaration was signed during the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and Germany held on Tuesday.

“The purpose of the joint declaration of intent is the establishment of a South African-German Hydrogen Task Force that will assist to drive the commercial viability of green hydrogen projects, industry and infrastructure in South Africa and Germany.

“The Joint Declaration of Intent is not legally binding, nor does it have financial implications for the Republic of South Africa. Its sole purpose is to create a South African-German Hydrogen Task Force within the framework of the South African-German Energy Partnership,” the Ministry of Electricity said.

The declaration paves the way for the formulation of a task force that aims to:

  • Formalise the bilateral exchange of information and assessments on upscaling green hydrogen in the respective countries;
  • Support the establishment of lighthouse projects, resulting in recommendations for the political dialogue;
  • Facilitate market access and 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.

The task force will:

  • Act as a platform for knowledge and information sharing about building and upscaling a green hydrogen economy in South Africa and Germany;
  • Explore opportunities to support the export of green hydrogen products and PtX products from South Africa to Germany, by, for example, providing support for bilateral contracts between South African producers and German off-takers, exploring partnership opportunities between ports;
  • 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, supporting manufactures of electrolysers and other critical components to identify business opportunities, and
  • Explore available funding mechanisms to support the market ramp up of green hydrogen and PtX value chains.

The Ministry of Electricity said it sees at least three “broad commercialisation lanes” for green hydrogen in South Africa.

“The country’s Investment Strategy aims to position South Africa as a key preferred African investment destination by attracting and facilitating quality Foreign and Domestic Direct Investment into the country, in a well co-ordinated manner, anchored by quality institutions and robust economic infrastructure networks.

“This is in the country’s important endeavour of advancing its National Development Plan (NDP) target of 30% of Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030.

“The Country Investment Strategy identifies 5 Big Frontiers. These are nascent sectors with the potential to have a transportive role on South Africa’s economy. One of the Big Frontiers is green hydrogen due to its ability to place South Africa at the global forefront of green energy,” the Ministry said. –

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