Stellenbosch and a UK university Collaborate on Green Hydrogen Research

The University of Stellenbosch (SU) in South Africa has entered into a partnership with Teesside University in England to establish a green hydrogen sector and conduct research to support South Africa.

The two universities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise this collaboration during South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent State visit to the UK. 

The goal of this partnership is to support the growth of a hydrogen economy in South Africa, which is seen as a potential source of clean energy that can help reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels. explained Professor Craig McGregor, of the department of mechanical and mechatronic engineering at SU.

The universities will work together to identify opportunities for technology transfer and capacity building, with a focus on helping South Africa become a leader in the green hydrogen sector. Research activities will include, among other areas, hydrogen production technologies; hydrogen conversion technologies, such as fuel cells and gas turbines; and the techno-economic analysis of hydrogen projects, such as the production of hydrogen for the export market.

Both Teesside and Stellenbosch universities will collaborate with other learning institutions in their respective countries on green hydrogen research. Stellenbosch University will collaborate with the Durban University of Technology, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, North-West University and the Universities of Cape Town, Venda and the Western Cape and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research while Teesside University intends to collaborate with Durham University, besides other institutions.

South Africa has a Hydrogen Society Roadmap, a framework for using green hydrogen to bolster economic recovery and growth following the pandemic, which was developed by the Department of Science and Innovation. 

Most recently, the German government also threw its weight behind South Africa's green hydrogen plans by making available a $23 million grant for early-stage green hydrogen projects.

Article by Jedidah Mwangi