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PIC hops onto SA’s ‘hydrogen economy’ development plan

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) says its newly-adopted hydrogen investment strategy aims to facilitate funding and provision of early-stage capital for the development of the hydrogen value chain.

The state-owned entity announced its adoption of the strategy on Monday, saying it intends on leveraging over 200 hydrogen projects announced around the world and the more than R4.3 trillion required to develop South Africa’s hydrogen economy.

“The adoption of the strategy comes at a time when several countries around the world are increasingly considering making use of hydrogen as a potential clean energy source,” it noted.

It says the government, through its Hydrogen Roadmap, has identified hydrogen as a potential investment avenue and that the roadmap identifies the PIC as a potential co-investor with other finance institutions in hydrogen projects.

The PIC adds that hydrogen promises to be the next frontier in clean energy technology, due to its extensive value chain applications. “It can be used to industrialise and create a resultant hydrogen economy. Other benefits include job creation and localised manufacturing; and the potential of turning the country to one of the largest exports of green hydrogen in the world.”

Given SA’s significant renewable energy potential, the PIC says hydrogen can augment the country’s renewable energy production by offering a “relatively affordable way to store and transport the excess energy produced from these sources.”

Further, South Africa, which has the most platinum group metal resources in the world, would benefit significantly from increased demand that could arise from a well-developed hydrogen sector, as platinum is a key catalyst in hydrogen fuel cells.

The PIC also believes investments in the hydrogen economy “will have a positive impact on society , the planet, and its clients’ portfolios.”

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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