Africa: Green Hydrogen Economy Is a Technology Game-Changer for SA and Sub-Saharan Africa

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opinion

Hydrogen can be deployed for various applications across the energy sector, for example, electricity generation, fuel cell electric vehicles and storage systems. This is a possible game-changer on how energy technologies could be deployed in South Africa and broader sub-Saharan Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa is endowed with renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydropower. I have previously highlighted the variable nature of renewable energy technology and the costs associated with storage as a major barrier to accelerating the adoption of renewables. Furthermore, a few weeks ago I indicated that there is a need to boost investor confidence as we write a new chapter in the South African renewable energy sector.

For this reason, we ought to reimagine what a South African just energy transition future should resemble. Which energy technologies can advance the objectives of a low carbon economy and decarbonisation? Can we have a decarbonised future based only on the energy technologies encircled in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)? What role can green hydrogen play in the just energy transition?

Many scholars recognise hydrogen as a major enabler for accelerating the decarbonisation agenda and, as a result, achieve the Paris Agreement objectives. Does this mean we are...

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