South Africa: Green hydrogen policy – a rapidly growing timeline of important developments

Green hydrogen is essential in South Africa’s new energy mix due to its important role in combatting climate change and delivering on decarbonisation targets. In the last year, several substantial developments with regard to South Africa’s green hydrogen policy, and public and private sector commitments have been announced.

The latest big announcement came in early November 2021, when South African President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa had secured a commitment of $8.5bn from the US, the UK, France, Germany and the European Union, to be used to speed up the country’s transition to a green economy, with a particular focus on phasing out coal. This commitment, which was agreed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, will also support investment in green hydrogen production.

The announcement followed Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola’s confirmation in October 2021, that his department was in the process of reviewing its Critical Infrastructure Programme, with the view to assist in alleviating some of the infrastructure costs associated with hydrogen production, fuelling and transport facilities. The deputy minister was speaking at a webinar on hydrogen titled ‘Hydrogen Economy – An Opportunity for South Africa to Create an Inclusive Energy Sector with Significant Black Participation’.

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