Cooperation Agreement signed on Green Hydrogen between Germany & South Africa

Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister of Electricity in the Presidency of South Africa, signed a declaration of intent on the margins of the German-South African Binational Commission on 27 June with the aim to further expand the cooperation on green hydrogen and power-to-x products.

The agreement underlines the desire of both countries to work even more closely together in the fields of the production, processing, use and transport of green hydrogen and the related synthetic fuels and ammonia. To this end, the intergovernmental exchange will be intensified and access to markets will be facilitated. The priorities also include the development of joint projects and the dialogue between representatives of government, research and academia.

Federal Minister Habeck said: "South Africa is an important partner for Germany in Africa. We are pleased that we will also expand our cooperation on green hydrogen. This serves to speed up the economic development, to ensure a reliable supply of electricity in South Africa, and to guarantee a sustainable and diversified energy supply in Germany. Our commitment in this field complements the Federal Governments’s efforts to help South Africa master the energy transition. For this purpose, we have just decided to make available an additional 30 million euros in the context of the International Climate Initiative."

South Africa is considered an ideal place to produce green hydrogen. It has plenty of sunshine, wind and space to expand the use of renewable energy beyond its own needs for the zero-emission production of hydrogen and its derivatives. The current electricity shortage in South Africa requires rapid solutions, to which renewable energy and system integration can make a substantial contribution. In the medium and long term, the establishment of a green hydrogen economy in South Africa can promote green industrialisation and create jobs on this basis. As regards cooperation on green hydrogen, the first step is to set up a system for renewable energy and to decarbonise South Africa’s industry by means of green hydrogen. Possible exports would be the last step in the context of a long-term development strategy.

The use of green hydrogen facilitates the zero-carbon production of industrial products, including steel, cement and fertilisers. On the basis of the processing of hydrogen to power-to-x products such as synthetic kerosene or ammonia, zero-carbon fuels can be produced for aviation and maritime transport. They are an important element of global decarbonisation, e.g. in the transport sector. Federal Minister Habeck had already visited South Africa last December for political and economic policy talks with the aim to strengthen the cooperation between Germany and the region, which is important for the future of our energy supply and the diversification of our economy.

The respective press release can be found via this link.