SA partners Dutch in $1bn fund to kickstart the hydrogen economy
South Africa has unveiled its first green hydrogen fund to raise $1bn to kickstart the country’s hydrogen economy in partnership with the Netherlands .
The fund was launched at the business forum on green energy transition and green hydrogen partnership impact in Pretoria on Tuesday. The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen.
The fund comes as climate change has been flagged as one of the biggest global environmental risks and South Africa aims to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels as part of its climate-change commitments.
Speaking at the forum, Ramaphosa said the fund would not only combat the effects of climate change but also bolster the country’s hydrogen economy.
“Such investments are important as our country has severe electricity challenges,” said Ramaphosa. He said the development of new renewable generation capacity was key in developing a hydrogen economy and creating jobs.
The fund is supported by the Climate Fund Managers, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Industrial Development Corporation, Sanlam and state-owned Netherlands Invest International BV.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, DBSA CEO Boitumelo Mosako said the fund’s partners aimed to raise $1bn for the green hydrogen projects.
“The initiative presents an opportunity to create a new industry that will enable job creation and the creation of external revenues. It is about including the youth in our economy,” said Mosako.
She said the fund was critical to enable the preparation and implementation of green hydrogen projects, including Boegebaai in the Northern Cape which has the potential to produce 400 kilotons of green hydrogen a year.
Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers, said green hydrogen is both the pathway and the solution to the global energy transition.
“South Africa combines deep technical and capital markets with world-class conditions for generating renewable electricity through solar and wind power, key drivers in the production of green hydrogen.”
The launch of the fund comes as the government’s green hydrogen strategy seeks to create a new R162bn industrial sector by stimulating demand.
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.