South Africa urged to boost R&D of hydrogen fuel cells

September 3, 2013 0 By Alicia Moore

Hydrogen fuel cells could have prominent future in South Africa

South Africa is home to a burgeoning fuel cell industry. The African country is home to the world’s largest supply of platinum, which has been a boon for the emerging industry as most conventional fuel cell technologies rely on this precious material. Usually, attaining platinum is quite expensive, but because South Africa has abundant access to the material, the costs associated with fuel cells in the country are somewhat modest. The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection has released a new report that suggests that the country should take more aggressive steps to promote hydrogen fuel cell research and development.

Report highlights importance of research and development

The report claims that South Africa is in a promising position to have a major impact on the global hydrogen fuel cell market. The demand for these energy systems has been growing significantly in recent years. Currently, the global auto industry is one of the strongest supporters of hydrogen fuel cells, which are being used in a new generation of vehicles that will be launched in the near future. Demand for fuel cells is growing in other industries as well, which could be a major benefit for South Africa.

South Africa hydrogen fuelCountry could have a major influence on fuel cell market

The report suggests that South Africa should invest more in the research and development of hydrogen fuels in order to take advantage of growing demand. Because the country holds 85% of the world’s supply of platinum metal groups, South Africa could have significant influence on the fuel cell market and how accessible these energy systems are to numerous industries.

Industries begin showing favor for hydrogen fuel

Fuel cells are not only being used for transportation. Telecommunications companies have been adopting hydrogen fuel cells in order to power remote network antennas. Even large technology companies, such as Apple, have been making use of fuel cells to power data centers and distance themselves from fossil-fuels.