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SA ready to make hydrogen fuel cells as alternative energy source - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the move followed more than a decade of work by the government and partners in the private sector and academia to develop the technology for both hydrogen fuel cells and lithium battery storage.

President Cyril Ramaphosa responds to Parliament’s debate on the 2021 State of the Nation Address during a hybrid joint sitting of Parliament in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa was ready to start manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells to be used as an alternative source of energy.

Ramaphosa made the announcement on Thursday in his reply to parties’ debate on his State of the Nation Address.

He said that the move followed more than a decade of work by the government and partners in the private sector and academia to develop the technology for both hydrogen fuel cells and lithium battery storage.

Ramaphosa held up strides made in developing the new technology as one of the things South Africans could celebrate. It offers a new renewable source of energy and new markets for the platinum group of metals, of which the country is the world’s leading producer.

"Through this Hydrogen South Africa strategy, government and its partners have successfully deployed hydrogen fuel cells to provide electricity in some of our schools and to build hospitals established as part of the country's COVID-19 response."

Ramaphosa said that the government was setting up a Platinum Valley – an industrial cluster bringing together various hydrogen applications in the country to form “an integrated hydrogen eco-system”.

“This initiative will identify concrete project opportunities to kickstart hydrogen cell manufacturing in promising hubs. It will also facilitate the commercialisation of home-grown intellectual property. It presents what I see as a great opportunity to build a local skills base and lead the country into a new era or energy generation and demand for its platinum group metals."

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