Another successful workshop solidifies EC path for green hydrogen development

The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs, and Tourism (DEDEAT), in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), marked another significant milestone on 28 February 2024 with a workshop focused on advancing the efficient and effective development of Green Hydrogen in the Eastern Cape.

The workshop, held in Gqeberha, achieved several crucial milestones, including fostering connections among key stakeholders in the Eastern Cape’s Green Hydrogen development sector. Participants gained a joint understanding of the intricate permitting processes essential for Green Hydrogen development. Regulators, in turn, clarified their diverse roles in the permitting process.

Alistair McMaster, the Director for Sustainable Energy at DEDEAT, emphasised the global importance of Green Hydrogen as a sustainable fuel in the journey towards achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

McMaster highlighted the Eastern Cape’s favourable position to play a significant role in the Hydrogen Economy due to its excellent wind and solar resources, two Special Economic Zones (SEZ) linked to ports, and a robust supporting infrastructure. He expressed confidence that many critical enablers for commercial viability are already in place.

The primary objective of the workshop was to convene key stakeholders in the hydrogen development economy and collaborate on a resource document outlining the regulatory and institutional requirements for Green Hydrogen development in the Eastern Cape. The document aims to deepen understanding, detail permitting processes, identify various regulators, and build capacity to efficiently unlock Green Hydrogen development in the region.

This workshop follows a groundbreaking Capacity Building and Policy and Regulatory Framework Workshop held by DEDEAT and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH from 29 to 30 May 2023 in Gqeberha.

The workshop garnered substantial attendance from key stakeholders in the hydrogen economy, including the Transnet National Port Authority, East London IDZ, Coega Development Corporation, Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition; Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality,  Automotive Industry Development Centre – EC; GIZ, Eastern Cape Development Corporation, Green Hydrogen Solutions, Office of the Premier, Nelson Mandela University, and Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent – EC.

The diverse representation underscored the shared commitment towards realising the potential of Green Hydrogen in the Eastern Cape and fostering economic growth through sustainable practices.

In closing remarks, Baphelele Mhlaba from the Office of the Premier urged stakeholders to work collaboratively to turn the vision of Green Hydrogen development into a reality, emphasising job creation as a crucial outcome.

He further encouraged unlocking investments received by the province to drive sustainable development.