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Fuel Cells Come to South Africa via Clean Energy Incorporated

In September 2008, I had talked about how South Africa had started pushing their native mined platinum for fuel cells. South Africa currently produces roughly 80-percent of the world’s platinum resources.

A month ago I had talked about how South Africa had dropped the ball in regard to introducing the world to hydrogen fuel cells in that country during the World Cup 2010 event. This would have been the perfect high profile venue to promote South Africa’s intention of capturing 25-percent of the fuel cell platinum market by the year 2020.

After this opportunity has passed, a new corporation has formed called Clean Energy Incorporated that will take advantaged of South Africa’s vast platinum mining resources and develop a market for fuel cells within that country. At first the corporation will concentrate on the stationary fuel cell marketplace.

It’s not much of a stretch, however, to see that South African platinum may end up in fuel cell vehicles as well. While it’s true that scientists, researchers and engineers are working feverishly to reduce or eliminate platinum in fuel cells, using cheaper alternatives it is also true that unless there is a significant breakthrough, platinum will still be used for years to come in some types of fuel cells.

This could be a case of “too little, too late” for South Africa in the platinum for fuel cells market or it could be a case of “just in time”. The future will only tell how this plays out in the quickly emerging field of hydrogen fuel cells.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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2 comments

  1. I do not understand why South Africa in not harnessing this great opportunity to shine. First of all, South Africa holds the most reserves of platinum in the world, with fuel cell being produced it means great demand for platinum. South Africa needs scientist who will be able to develop fuel cells here, so that we do not export the platinum and import the final product at more than double the price. Schools need to be taught about this technology- in fact some European and American countries have intergraded fuel cells into their science and technology school curriculum. I have seen some of these school kits (www.heliocentris.com) they are fun to work with and most of all you do not need to use electricity for them, and these school kits would work perfectly in rural areas where they have no electricity. There are so many opportunities to be seized in South Africa through fuel cells, but South Africa just doesn’t seem to be bothered.

  2. Please advise if fuel cell system are already available for purchase

    currently for backup systems as well as continuously run systems

    thank you in advance

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