NC mecca of power

2018-12-12 06:00
At the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) exhibition in Pretoria is Cornelius le Roux, a facilities manager at the HySA Infrastructure.Photo: Refilwe Sekwati

At the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) exhibition in Pretoria is Cornelius le Roux, a facilities manager at the HySA Infrastructure.Photo: Refilwe Sekwati

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Referred to as the mecca of renewable energy, the Northern Cape provides solar and wind energy to its residents.

The province is the host of 51 of the country’s 102 independent power produ­cers with more than 19 projects already connected to the grid.

It is aiming to be a net explorer of green energy by 2020 and to achieve an overall energy saving of 24% by 2030.

While solar and wind power produce clean and cheaper electricity, this renewable energy source can also be used in the production of hydrogen.

Cornelius le Roux, a facilities manager at Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Infrastructure – an organisation responsible for hydrogen production, compression and storage – said hydrogen production has huge potential for future investment.

“One can use it in the industrial sector, export it, have it as an energy sto­rage, have cars running from refuelling stations and ideally be carbon free,” he said.

He further said that HySA currently has a test facility at the North West University where they do industry research to determine the holistic safety and effect of hydrogen.

  • How is hydrogen produced? There must be a renewable energy source (solar, hydraulic power or wind). ) Electrolysis is used in the hydrogen production stage. Water and a renewable source of energy is used to produce hydrogen through electrolysis.) Once produced it can be used directly or stored and transported in many ways. ) When hydrogen is send through a fuel cell it gene­rates electrical power.

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