UK-South Africa collaboration on green hydrogen
Following on from the first trade visit earlier in 2022, we have supported and actively contributed to a second round of meetings for the joint UK-South Africa Hydrogen Trade Mission.
This latest visit focused on regional development opportunities that would help ensure energy security and drive the growth of productive net-zero economies.
A collective effort from the UK2070 Commission, Teesside University, and members of our teams in the UK and South Africa, has contributed to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two nations to collaborate on hydrogen research and projects. The agreement aligns with the UK2070 Commission’s ‘The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’ to support regional growth across the UK.
The Tees Valley is one region at the forefront of the UK’s hydrogen strategy, with work underway to build a Hydrogen Hub there which strongly parallels with South Africa’s own plans to build a South African Hydrogen Valley.
As long-standing supporters of the UK2070 Commission’s work to address the UK’s regional inequalities, we were locally represented by Chris Coles and Andrew Etherington, Directors in our Teesside office, at a roundtable event hosted by Teesside University with the Mayor of Tees Valley and representatives from the Tees Valley Combined Authority in attendance.
Here an agreement was also concluded between the university and South Africa’s Stellenbosch and Pretoria Universities to deepen UK-South African academic collaboration on hydrogen, including academic co-operation and exchange, sharing best practice, developing skills and leveraging funding opportunities.
South Africa's world-class expertise in hydrogen production, including the Fischer-Tropsch process used in the production of power fuels, has the potential to go green and help the country reach a net-zero economy by 2050.
As a member of the long-term Just Energy Transition Partnership, launched in November 2021, the UK government is committed to providing technical assistance and funding to support South Africa’s hydrogen ambitions through the Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (UK PACT) programme.
Opportunities to extend UK involvement in the green hydrogen economy in South Africa were discussed in industry sessions at the House of Lords. The event was organised by the UK2070 Commission and attended by Director Jason Martin and Andrew Etherington.
Jason Martin, Director said:
These latest formal agreements between the UK and South Africa are a vital step in realising green hydrogen’s potential to unlock social and economic growth. Continued collaboration between our academic institutions, business communities, and government departments will help ensure that future hydrogen hubs in each nation, such as the Tees Valley in UK’s North, are forging smarter, greener industrial economies.