It is envisaged that the green hydrogen fuel proposed for the 20 GMA buses would be produced from a combination of energy from wind and solar photovoltaic technologies, Enertrag has outlined in an advertisement in Mining Weekly. GreenCape has been named as joint programme coordinator and other consortium members listed include the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Navitas, Fraunhofer IEE and IKEM, with Busmark and the GMA supporters of the initiative. Fuel cells will allow the buses to become part of the decarbonising world by catalysing the green hydrogen into clean electricity that powers the buses in an emission-free manner.
Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter last week suggested that Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system could be considered for conversion to hydrogen.
The Minerals Council’s own stationary fuel cell, which enables the building to be less reliant on the electricity grid and also uses repurposed by-products, such as heat, to contribute to the building’s ambient temperature in winter, has been registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Programme of Activities 9437: Cogeneration at Commercial sites.
South Africa has the combined solar and wind potential to produce hydrogen competitively. The country’s combined solar and wind power provide a hydrogen production capacity factor of close to 100% during daylight hours and 30% during the night, which is above the international norm of about 22%, according to CSIR senior research engineer Thomas Roos.
South Africa’s National Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Research, Development and Innovation Strategy, known as Hydrogen South Africa (HySA), has reached the third phase of its 15-year programme, which comprises three five-year phases.
HySA – an initiative of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) previously the Department of Science and Technology – aims to create local capacity and knowledge that will lead to the development of value-add products in the hydrogen fuel cell technology sector for domestic and international markets.
HySA strategy is to create knowledge and human resource capacity and develop high-level commercial activities in hydrogen fuel cell technology through beneficiating platinum group metals (PGMs). The HySA programme is therefore a government initiative towards a hydrogen economy in South Africa, DSI hydrogen and energy director Dr Cosmas Chiteme has outlined to Mining Weekly.