The objective of the HyTrA project (Hydrogen Tryout Areal) is to establish the use of hydrogen technology for decentralized electricity supply in South Africa. Decentralised stand-alone networks are to form the basis for advancing a reliable, environmentally-friendly and CO2-neutral electricity supply. On 13 July 2023, the first demonstrator of the project was launched in Cape Town, South Africa, and was attended by project leader ZUG gGmbH as well as NOW GmbH.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), NOW GmbH has already worked with international partners on the development of sustainable technologies for the past three years in the framework of the Export Initiative for Environmental Protection (EXI). Now the concepts of the HyTrA project from the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU) and Texulting GmbH are becoming a reality: a first demonstrator for decentralised energy supply with hydrogen and fuel cell technology has been installed in its partner country, South Africa and launched at a ceremonial event. The project aims to establish hydrogen technology for decentralised electricity supply in South Africa. Decentralised stand-alone grids will serve as a basis to advance a reliable, environmentally-friendly and CO2-neutral electricity supply. The demonstrator of a hydrogen-based energy system was developed in Germany and installed in Cape Town at the AluCab company, for the purposes of being tested over the course of a year under the supervision of Stellenbosch University. The system provides the local company with an uninterrupted power supply during the rotating grid shutdowns (‘load shedding’) in South Africa.
The project consortium, representatives from the city of Cape Town, local partners as well as project leader ZUG gGmbH and NOW GmbH participated in the opening event on 13 July 2023 in Cape Town.
At the launch event, Beverley van Reenen, member of the mayoral committee for energy for the city of Cape Town, highlighted that green hydrogen and systems such as HyTrA are decisive building blocks towards the climate neutrality of the city. A video message from Nilgün Parker, Head of Sustainable Finance Policy, Environment and External Economic Promotion in the BMUV then followed, in which she described the launch of the HyTrA project as an important milestone for the entire funding programme. The Cape Town project is the first hydrogen project to go into operation under EXI.
Further comments from the project partners on the project:
“The HyTrA micro grid isn’t just the first hydrogen micro grid in South Africa, but as a demonstration project, it heralds the beginning of practical training for students on the topic of green hydrogen in South Africa.” – Dr. Ulrike Beyer, Fraunhofer IWU
“The implementation of the HyTrA project is an excellent example of sustainable cooperation between South African and German actors and the development of joint value chains.” – Prof. Dr. Markus Michael, Texulting GmbH
The BMUV’s Export Initiative for Environmental Protection
Since 2016, the Federal Ministry for the Environmental, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), through its Export Initiative for Environmental Protection funding programme (EXI), has been supporting German green tech medium-sized businesses in spreading innovative environmental technologies that are ‘Made in Germany’. Optimised environmental conditions for sustainable development and better environmental and living conditions (SDG implementation) are to be created in the target countries. The EXI projects contribute to implementing green, social and environmental services worldwide through its support of suitable infrastructures. Since 2022, Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH, as project leader of the Export Initiative for Environmental Protection, has been supporting the Federal Environmental Ministry in carrying out its tasks.