Anglo American: South Africa to be a major force in the hydrogen economyDecember 20, 2011
Anglo American, a global mining and energy company based in the UK, believes that South Africa may soon become the leading power in hydrogen energy. Hydrogen has been gaining momentum in recent years due to its efficiency and power. The energy is, at worst, on par with oil and, at best, the most capable alternative energy available. Despite the energy’s pedigree, however, the adoption of hydrogen fuel has been sluggish. This is largely due to the cost of fuel cells, as most conventional fuel cells utilize platinum and other expensive materials.
South Africa is home to the world’s largest supply of platinum, making it a promising contender in the hydrogen economy. With unparalleled access to platinum, the country has become attractive to fuel cell manufacturers all over the world. Those coming to South Africa to build fuel cells will find that the cost of construction is much lower than elsewhere in the world, as platinum will not have to be exported.
Anglo American believes that if the South African government continues its support of hydrogen energy, the nation will rapidly become one of the most important entities in the emerging hydrogen economy. With such influence, the nation could control the ebb and flow of the market to some degree. Whether this comes to fruition, however, depends heavily on government policy and whether the nation wants to adopt hydrogen on a large scale.