South Africa is finalising the much-anticipated Hydrogen Society Roadmap as the country shapes its industrialisation and economic pathway.
This development was recently outlined by the Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI) Chief Director for Hydrogen and Energy, Dr Rebecca Maserumule.
Crafting the document began last year and is expected to be finalised in the next three months.
Dr Maserumule outlined this during a webinar on the future of alternative energy sources.
“We think that around this transition, the lynchpin is hydrogen – that is with prior emphasis on green hydrogen. The emphasis of the roadmap really is how do we, as South Africa, try to find insights in the expectations and purposes towards how we should make this movement?”
The roadmap is a collaborative roundtable of which all relevant stakeholders are at equal footing and the issues of gender equality and social inclusion are at the forefront.
These revolve around how the energy sector would contribute towards the country’s efforts in building an inclusive economy while “making sure that we reduce poverty and inequality while moving towards a sustainable future for South Africa.”
This considers stakeholder benefits such as job creation, economic growth and development, industrialisation or the sustainable industrialisation contribution towards energy security.
“The growth areas for the sector are around energy in the mining sector, transport industry, buildings, [and the] export of green hydrogens to other economies (either Europe or Asia) in resource development,” says the Chief Director.
For South Africa, industrialisation is an important ideal.
“That is an aspiration that we have as a country. We are building our economic growth out of COVID on the back of infrastructure development. In order to do that effectively, while keeping to our Paris Agreement commitments, we really need to maximise system value.”
She adds that at the core of maximising system value is the expansion of renewable energy. Addressing issues around energy efficiency, and grid system upgrade interventions are central to successfully achieving this.
“This plays into transforming the energy system. This is looking at power in market reforms,” she says while also mentioning the unbundling of power utility Eskom which is currently underway.
In making its decisions, South Africa is also in part informed by developments globally.
Therefore, she says, it is critical for South Africa to have “honest and frank” discussions and intentions about the electrification of sectors on the back of renewables.
Key among the questions to be asked is whether the transition will be conducted effectively.
“How do we go from what we call ‘gray’, which is hydrogen producing coal and natural gas, to ‘blue’, which is hydrogen which is gray that allows carbon caption or carbon storage and lastly, ‘green’ hydrogen, which is on the back of renewables?” she remarks.
Even though it is often cited as expensive, the price of renewables is coming down.
Dr Maserumule is adamant that “the green hydrogen revolution [should happen] here sooner versus later”.
“Most international energy agencies say we are not going to move towards greenhouse gas emission reductions without carbon caption and storage (CCS) of which South Africa has had programs since around 2010.”
The roadmap also addresses this issue, among others.
She says government’s role in “most cases is to put in place policy regulations”.
“Investments are coming from government and the private sector, especially if you’re coming up with sustainable options as well as education and skills capacity, which is critical in ensuring that there is proper awareness towards this movement.”
She spoke of the need for renewables to extend outside the power sector adding that “we need to create a future in which renewables can play a role.”
Hydrogen could be used for rail tracks and maritime shipping, she says, adding that the country needs to increase the share of renewables in the current energy mix.
“We have the conditions from an economic point of view to make it happen, sooner versus later,” she said.
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Pyrophosphate as an alternative energy currency in plants | Biochemical Journal | Portland Press
In the conditions of [Mg2+] elevation that occur, in particular, under low oxygen stress and are the consequence of the decrease in [ATP] and increase in [ADP] and [AMP], pyrophosphate (PPi) can function as an alternative energy currency in plant cells. In addition to its production by various metabolic pathways, PPi can be synthesized in the combined reactions of pyruvate, phosphate dikinase (PPDK) and pyruvate kinase (PK) by so-called PK/PPDK substrate cycle, and in the reverse reaction of membrane-bound H+-pyrophosphatase, which uses the energy of electrochemical gradients generated on tonoplast and plasma membrane. The PPi can then be consumed in its active forms of MgPPi and Mg2PPi by PPi-utilizing enzymes, which require an elevated [Mg2+]. This ensures a continuous operation of glycolysis in the conditions of suppressed ATP synthesis, keeping metabolism energy efficient and less dependent on ATP.
Alternative Energy: The Future is here
The world is changing rapidly.
All of us were born and grew up in a world that needs to burn something to create energy, a “technology” as old as the Neanderthaler. Think of it, I am not sure when exactly fire was “invented” to heat the caves, but since that time humanity builds its progress upon that same chemical reaction.
One could argue that this one chemical reaction – the oxidation of materials under production of heat and or expansion – is – from the human perspective – nature’s most important chemical reaction. At least viewed from an economic standpoint.
Now what about those great German cars of the last 30 or so years with their magnificent engines?
Well, still something is still burned inside these machines and creates a combustion, which in turn pushes pistons. Gasoline in, a spark and off you go.
Still stone-age technology, albeit very much advanced and much more fancy.
But the Zeitgeist, and especially the limited resources of Mother Earth force us humans to find new ways to power and move our societies.
I would argue that these alternative energies are readily available. Many of them have for a long time, but needed advanced technologies to be harvested.
Alternative Energy: The Future is here
What is Alternative Energy?
So lets’ begin with the question of “What is alternative energy?” In the end energy is defined as a force being able to have an effect in this seemingly Newtonian world.
Definition of Alternative Energy
At least that is the kind of energy that our human daily lives are interested in: How to heat my home and get from A to B.
Bur for me there are more alternative energy sources than normally listed on websites dealing with this topic. I would argue that we also look at energies that come and go beyond our 3D, Newtonian world:
- What about Magnetics?
- What about gravitational energy?
To the best of my knowledge, both forces defy the “set in stone” laws of thermodynamics… they do not deplete. Otherwise Pluto would long have left or solar system and our Earth also would be uninhabitable, having left the perfect orbit around our sun.
So to me alternative energy consists of anything we can use directly or indirectly use to heat our homes or get us from A to B. We are looking here for alternatives to the burning of fossil fuels or trees.
And I do think we also have to leave our Newtonian worldview to advance technologically. Quantum Physics is “proven” and a fact but has nothing to do with the Newtonian worldview… except that the world of Newton, of objects moving to a heavenly body – stems from the Quarks and Neutrino of the Quantum World. So our world stems from the Quantum Physics world beyond.
As far as I know it is theorized that magnetism stems from another dimension reaching into ours… that might save the Laws of Thermodynamics if we expand them to that other dimension. But honestly, I do not believe that the dimension cares about our Laws of Thermodynamics.
Is Nuclear Power a Alternative Energy source?
Oh, and some claim that nuclear power is a type of alternative energy. I strongly contradict. Firstly, humanity has a t least 3 times badly burned it’s hand with this insecure, unstable and highly and long-lasting toxin “technology” – think of Sellafield, Chernobyl and Fukushima… I think there were more at least close calls.
Also: did you know that a nuclear power plant is nothing more than a very very expensive, very, very dangerous, very toxic waste producing – steam engine.
Yes, all they do is use one of the most dangerous materials on Earth to heat water to run a steam engine.
I nearly had to laugh when I learned about that fact.
And no, it does not produce CO2, but so much more toxic waste still being deadly 1000s of generations after we are gone…and by that I mean our society.
Alternative Energy types
So, having dealt with Bill Gates favorite Nuclear Fission (our Nuclear plants today) – splitting the atoms to free the energy, let us create a list of real alternative energy types. (Btw.: If we came up with Nuclear Fusion, that would be a completely different game – no wastes to my knowledge).
I see natural sources, and new technological developments, which tap into the power beyond the laws of thermodynamics.
Alternative Energy sources
So what are sources of alternative energy?
What is obvious is the natural sources:
- Tidal (indirect gravitational)
A word about geothermal energy
I should mention that geothermal in my opinion has much more potential to get us to carbon-free than we give it credit. Right now, you would think that geothermal energy only would work in ie. sn volcanic environment like Iceland.
If there is not enough heat close to the earth’s surface, we believe we have to dig too deep to find enough heat.
As Nuclear Fission, Geothermal energy works by heating up water which in turn turns a steam engine.
Now, what happens if we do not use water for creating the “steam”, but some benign chemical (in a closed circuit, no leaking into the earth) that boils much earlier than water does (at 100°C)? Then we would not have to dig nearly as deep in areas with any volcanic activity.
I would go so far as to say that with this technology we could power any city in the world with enough electricity by digging only a few dozen or hundred meters, until it becomes warm enough for this alternative fluid to reach its boiling point and become steam – driving the blades and creating electricity.
Some ask which of these energy sources are exhaustible: Well, in billions of years all of them, even our sun will one day vanish. But in thousands of lifetimes all these energy sources will not fail us.
Magnetics as an Alternative Energy source
But it gets better. Here is favorite (future) alternative energy source:
We all have heard of impossible fantastic machines that do not need fuels and still somehow create drive around, cars built by some obscure lay scientist, that run on unknown energies.
You heard stories like this if you had your antennas not locked on only to the mass media (and even there I read about these things).
But we are always told by experts that it all was just a hoax and we never heard about the developments again.
Have a look at https://innovationt.com .
They are already building engines that are powered by magnetics alone.
This is the website of a company that solves energy needs with “future” technologies. And they are actually implementing magnetic engines … without any need for fuel.
I heard about this the first time on the Kryon channel…and am intrigued ever since. But check it out yourself:
For me, this is the alternative energy solution….using forces out of the quantum field or another dimension to heat our homes and power our cars .
This for me is great news and promises a great future.
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