South Africa has an Abundance of Hydrogen Opportunities
According to the CEO of Hydrogen Energy Applications (HYENA), Niels Luchters, South Africa should explore and capitalise on its green hydrogen opportunities.
Luchters said hydrogen and fuel cells would reduce carbon emissions and offer a reliable energy source. The energy sources, including diesel generators, have several issues such as noise, the spillage of oil, and regular maintenance.
HYENA, in 2020, introduced the POWER POD to replace diesel generators. The hydrogen generators will convert liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) into electricity. But the CEO said the infrastructure needed to build a hydrogen economy in Africa is lacking currently.
Investment in new technologies and new green hydrogen infrastructure development is expensive and time-consuming.
Luchters added that HYENA developed the POWER POD to help generate electricity using the fuel cell and make a hydrogen stream wherever clients require it. The firm will help deploy more fuel cell technology using the existing fuel.
The firm mainly focuses on African telecommunications towers and sub-Saharan Africa because these two areas have reliance on diesel generators.
HYENA also looks forward to expanding to other markets, including households and construction sites, which heavily rely on diesel generators.
The firm incorporated as a business in 2018 and started research at the University of Cape Town in 2014.
The POWER POD developed as a prototype will help determine clients' requirements, and based on that, improvements can be made to meet their needs. It also involves low carbon emissions and operating costs compared to diesel generators.