The tremendous platinum group metals (PGMs) endowment in Southern Africa is receiving a double boost from China and India’s robust acceptance of the new green hydrogen and hydrogen (GH2 Bolsters) fuel cell future, Mining Weekly can disclose today.
Since South Africa hosts and mines the majority of the PGMs required for the related technologies, as well as providing exceptional sources of renewable energy for itself through its superior sun and prime wind, hydrogen technologies have a specific relevance for South Africa.
Utilizing renewable energy, green hydrogen is created, which can then be utilised to cleanly transform cement, steel, and a variety of other manufacturing processes into clean electricity that is ready to power fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) sustainably.
The fact that solar and wind energy replenishes more quickly than it is used up is a major advantage. The abundance and accessibility of renewable energy sources make it possible for nations to achieve energy independence.
Securing enough electrons must be the primary goal, followed by converting extra electrons into molecules that can be turned back into electricity as necessary, especially for mobility.
According to a recent World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) study, it won’t be long until FCEV demand for platinum catches up to the level of automotive demand, which is anticipated to reach over 3 million ounces this year.
Along with Anglo-American, Honeywell, WPIC, and nearly 70 other organisations that have signed strategic cooperation agreements with the Lin-Gang Group, a State-owned developer of industrial parks, a new trade and technology center in China are being created to support the expansion of the PGMs market.
The annual Shanghai Platinum Week will begin this year at the Lin-Gang Special Area, where WPIC’s Asia Pacific headquarters will eventually relocate.
Proton exchange membrane electrolysis, or PEM, in particular, relies on the improvement that South Africa’s PGMs can deliver, and hydrogen fuel cells enable zero-emission mobility through PGM catalysis. This occurs as green electron and green molecule manufacturing is positioned to improve the globe.
China is positioned to become a key market for platinum-using FCEVs, which offer the emission-free mobility required to combat climate change, which is a major advantage for PGM demand and subsequently for South Africa’s local mining economy.
The adoption of FCEVs is further aided by China’s aim to produce a significant amount of climate-friendly green hydrogen, which is also encouraging the manufacture of green steel, green cement, and a variety of other environmentally friendly products.
Along with the technologically advanced European Union, a perceptive Australia, and a South Africa that has been talking about fuel cell mobility for decades, India is meantime grasping the green hydrogen chance with both hands.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has stated unequivocally that India must become a center for the production and export of green hydrogen. This will not only enable India to advance in its quest for energy independence, but it will also serve as fresh motivation for the global shift to renewable energy.
The National Green Hydrogen Mission of India, which has received Cabinet approval, aims to turn the populous South Asian nation into a center for the production and export of green hydrogen.
The US is in a better position than ever to expand its domestic hydrogen market for the sake of the environment and the economy following President Joe Biden’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The new law’s energy tax measures convey a seriousness regarding hydrogen’s role in accelerating the transition to renewable energy, encouraging sustained private sector investment, and advancing hydrogen production.
Given its ability to decarbonize the transportation and industrial sectors and its enormous scalability as an energy storage medium, hydrogen is considered as offering the flexibility required to realise a true clean energy transition quickly and effectively.
In addition to providing jobs for more than 30 million people and preventing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from damaging the world, a global hydrogen economy might provide a $2.5 trillion market for hydrogen and fuel cell equipment.
Amazon and the American businesses Plug have agreed to supply liquid green hydrogen to help decarbonize Amazon’s operations. The goal of Plug is to create a complete green hydrogen ecosystem.
The Pemion membrane from Ionomr Innovations has successfully passed performance and durability tests from the US Department of Energy and Hydrogen Europe that exceed internationally recognised standards, demonstrating that the company’s hydrocarbon-based PEM and polymer are ready for widespread fuel cell application.
The membrane has passed tests for accelerated durability that included both chemical and mechanical stress. It outperformed the US Department of Energy’s 20,000-cycle durability targets for polymer electrolyte membranes during 1,000 hours of cyclical testing.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Belgium is thinking of building an open-access green hydrogen and green ammonia import terminal. To look into the idea, three businesses—Fluxys, Advario Stolthaven Antwerp, and Advario Gas Terminal—have teamed up.
By connecting to the open-access Fluxys hydrogen network, the terminal will supply all of northwest Europe.
The gas grid operator Gasunie has submitted an application to the European Commission seeking exemption from State-aid limitations as part of the Dutch government’s North Sea network plan to pump offshore wind-powered hydrogen to Germany.
According to Hydrogen Central, the amount of electrolysis capacity that has been proposed to produce hydrogen has surpassed the 1 065 GW threshold, with 93% of the proposed hydrogen projects being green.
The Hyundai Group has committed $6.7 billion to “the fuel of the future” and pledged a significant investment in hydrogen.
According to Teco CEO Tore Enger, the future is zero emissions, and there is little doubt that hydrogen and fuel cells will be crucial in helping to decarbonize the heavy-duty and maritime sectors. According to an analysis from Menon Economics, the Norwegian hydrogen market is now small but has significant potential.
The Spanish International Renewable Energy Conference is expected to offer the world’s transition to solar and wind energy, which are connected at the hip with green hydrogen, and additional momentum. One thousand international decision-makers are expected to attend.
In terms of electron storage, it’s great to see that South Africa’s abundant vanadium is being evaluated rather than the world’s rare lithium for longer-lasting green electricity storage.
Around 85 to 90 billion tonnes of hydrogen are being produced each year globally, with green hydrogen itself being stored as either a short-term or long-term energy source.
With cooperation between businesses, nations, and research institutions, the switch to green hydrogen can become a reality soon, according to Blade Nzimande, minister of higher education, science, and innovation for South Africa. Stephen Quest, director-general of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Antony Phillipson, the UK’s high commissioner, and representatives of neighboring African States were present at the event.
Collaboration between the African Union and the European Union is already underway to accelerate Africa’s Just Energy Transition to green hydrogen.
As the globe switches to clean, green energy, countries that can export their sunshine in the form of hydrogen will be the ones to develop faster than those that can’t export their sunshine in the form of oil and gas in the past.
Professor Dmitri Bessarabov, director of the Hydrogen South Africa Infrastructure Competence Center, who will preside over the international conference on electrolysis (ICE 2023) in Sun City, South Africa, from August 27 to September 1, claims that “Africa is an example of a place on our planet that can lead this geopolitical shift.”
A pillar of South Africa’s Hydrogen Society Roadmap is already electrolytic green hydrogen generation, which is anticipated to advance at ICE 2023. According to the Ministry in charge of developing the roadmap, with the right cooperation, this development can be positively accounted for shortly.
The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa estimates that more than R4.3 trillion in investments will be needed. The PIC has a hydrogen investment strategy that aims to unlock value by providing early-stage capital for the development of the hydrogen value chain and leveraging off of more than 200 hydrogen projects that have already been announced globally. The PIC has R2.339 trillion worth of assets under management.
Due to its ubiquity and vast value chain potential, the PIC believes that hydrogen represents the next major advancement in clean energy technology.
H2Global, a market ramp-up tool that acts as a cutting-edge form of a subsidy scheme to smooth out humps along the early-mover road for green hydrogen, is there for investors and has made a strong call for final investment decisions to be made on green hydrogen projects already supported by memoranda of understanding.
While this is going on, South Africa’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions are being improved to take a more significant part in the explosive growth of renewable energy production.
The TVET ecosystem must promote transversal skills, build a knowledge commons for skills, and foster a collaborative atmosphere to handle local shifts and difficulties as we move towards an inclusive green hydrogen economy.
Source: Engineering News