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President Ramaphosa Highlights Green Hydrogen Economy’s Role in South Africa’s Development

by Central News Reporter
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President Cyril Ramaphosa recently delivered a powerful speech at the Women's Day event, urging all sectors of society to work together in advancing and improving the lives of women and girls in South President Cyril Ramaphosa recently delivered a powerful speech at the Women's Day event, urging all sectors of society to work together in advancing and improving the lives of women and girls in South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently emphasized the crucial role that the green hydrogen economy plays in South Africa’s development and its transition to clean energy sources.

During his speech at the South African Green Hydrogen Summit (SAGHS), President Ramaphosa stated that the hydrogen economy can provide employment, support vulnerable workers, communities, and small businesses. He also highlighted the potential for the hydrogen economy to contribute 3.6% to the country’s GDP by 2050 and generate around 370,000 jobs. To fully realize these benefits, the President urged action to harness the potential of the green hydrogen economy.

minister kgosientsho ramokgopa l

The inaugural SAGHS, held in 2022, reaffirmed South Africa as a leading destination for green energy investment and cooperation. The focus of the summit was to scale up regional collaboration in the field of green hydrogen.

The second summit aims to highlight South Africa’s immense potential as an early-stage, large-scale, and cost-effective green hydrogen production hub, attracting investment along the entire value chain.

Green hydrogen is listed as one of the frontier strategic sectors in South Africa’s Investment Strategy, approved earlier this year, expected to attract foreign and domestic direct investment. President Ramaphosa emphasized the country’s goal of becoming a globally competitive player in this rapidly growing industry.

Notably, 64 countries, accounting for 89% of global emissions, have announced net zero targets by 2050. The President highlighted the anticipated sevenfold increase in global green hydrogen demand by 2050 and the need for green hydrogen to constitute 10% to 20% of the global energy mix to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

South Africa, committed to ambitious emission reduction targets, recognizes green hydrogen’s potential to reduce domestic emissions by 10% to 15% and contribute to long-term energy security.

President Ramaphosa acknowledged the cooperation efforts through the African Green Hydrogen Alliance, including countries like Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and Ethiopia. The alliance seeks to leverage Africa’s potential in developing green hydrogen industries and aims to obtain technical support, funding, and market access from international public and private sector partners.

The President emphasized that scaling up investment in green hydrogen could help Africa meet over one third of its current energy consumption, boost collective GDP, improve clean water supply, and empower communities. To mobilize private sector investment, proper planning, regulation, and incentive schemes are critical.

South Africa’s deep capital markets and favorable conditions for renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, present significant opportunities for green hydrogen production. Funding green hydrogen projects will require innovative financing structures involving multiple stakeholders.

In June 2023, South Africa plans to launch the SA-H2 Fund, an innovative blended finance fund aimed at facilitating the development of the country’s green hydrogen sector and circular economy. The goal is to secure $1 billion in funding from local and global public and private enterprises.

Building on progress made since the last summit, South Africa has secured agreements with Germany and the Netherlands related to market access, off-take opportunities, and value-additive benefits in the production of green steel and fertilizers. Additionally, strategic partnerships have been formed with multinationals in the green hydrogen mobility space, including Sasol, Anglo American, and BMW.

President Ramaphosa expressed gratitude to all partners and sponsors involved in making the summit possible, with special mention given to Anglo American, BMW, Sasol, the Industrial Development Corporation, and GIZ.

 

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