The EHA was invited to speak at the South African Ministry of Science and Technology Stakeholder round-table meeting on 3 May 2012 in Cape Town on the theme “From a Resource-Based Economy to a Knowledge-based Economy in Developing Country: Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Case”. The stakeholder round-table meeting was hosted by the Department of Science and Technology on behalf of South Africa in collaboration with the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) since December 2009. The EHA is part of the Education Working Group of the IPHE.
Since 2008, when the EHA submitted a proposal to integrate technology cooperation activities in the EU Joint Undertaking for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2007 – 2013 Multi Annual Plan, the EHA has been following the UNFCCC developments to set up a Green Climate Fund and network of Technology Centres to support rapid deployment of clean energy and transport technologies in emerging economies. The Green Climate fund was kick-started and the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen with a Fast Start Finance fund to which the EU contributes € 7,5 bln (stands now at € 4,8). The EHA has discussed the link with the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan, including the activities of the EU joint Undertaking for fuel cells and hydrogen, FCH JU, to the technology cooperation activities of the Climate Technology Centres network with DG Clima. At the last COP 18 in Durban, South Africa, in December last year it was decided to ensure that the Technology Centres will be operational this year. The EHA is co-organizing a session on this topic at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Toronto on June 6, 2012 to further discuss how relevant information on the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies coudl be integrated in these Technology Centres.
The EHA also visited the HySA Systems Integration & Technology Validation Competence Centre, HySA Systems, co-hosted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry (SAIAMC), and directed by Professor Bruno G. Pollet FRSC. The centre is one of three national Competence Centres that were initiated by the Department of Science and Technology’s National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies (HFCT) Flagship Project, also known as Hydrogen South Africa or HySA. This long-term (15-year) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies (HFCT) Research, Development, and Innovation (RDI) strategy was officially launched in September 2008 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in South Africa. The overall vision of the HFCT RDI strategy is to bring about wealth, job and IPR creation through the initiation of new high technology industries based on minerals found on South African soil, especially Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). HySA Systems, a Systems Integration and Technology Validation Competence Centre on HFCT was established in 2007 at the SAIAMC at the University of the Western Cape. The main objective with HySA Systems is to (i) develop HFC systems and prototypes, (ii) perform technology validation and system integration in three key HySA programmes: (1) Combined Heat and Power (CHP), (2) Portable systems and (3) Hydrogen Fuelled Vehicles (HFV). HySA Systems is also responsible for the development, prototyping, testing, validating and commissioning of the following key technologies: Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) for High Temperature (HT) (≥120 oC) Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, HT-PEM fuel cell stacks, metal hydrides for hydrogen storage and compression, Li-ion batteries and system integration of Energy Storage Devices for domestic and automotive applications.