Unveiled today (March 22), a partnership between the South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry (SAIAMC), Keren Energy, Sakhumnotho, Cape Stack, and Namaqua Engineering, will couple solar energy with hydrogen production.

100kW of photovoltaic solar systems will be used to create green hydrogen once coupled with electrolyser systems with the hydrogen being used to power various industrial applications and for fuel in fuel cell vehicles.

Read more: South African Government throws weight behind Sasol green hydrogen project
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South Africa: Green hydrogen policy – a rapidly growing timeline of important developments

The University of Western Cape (UWC) is also supporting the hydrogen economy by providing education and training within the hydrogen sphere enabling skilled professionals to maintain hydrogen infrastructure and technology.

For this, the University is preparing graduates with updated skills in a new energy environment.

The Vredendal project for instance provides a platform and outlet for SAIAMC’s human development programme through which graduates from Universities of Technology (UoT) and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges with an NQF level 5-6 are exposed to the most important aspects of the industrial working environment.

Included within this is hydrogen safety and maintenance to ensure that a constant flow of hydrogen ready graduates can enter the new energy space.

George van Rensburg, Managing Director of Keren Energy , said, “Working with UWC has added tremendously to the success of the project. The relationship has resulted in a number of synergies between the private and academic sector and believe the future requires more of these collaborations.

“Having Dr Chidziva and the rest of the SAIAMC team on board has given us a tremendous sense of certainty, knowing that we have access to some of the most experienced South African minds in the field.

“It is a challenge for energy tech start-up companies to access accredited skills and field experience in a relatively young sector. SAIAMC provides us with the guidance and leadership required to make such projects a reality.”

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