International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.2, 629-640, 2019
On the outlook for solar thermal hydrogen production in South Africa
Global warming and tightening environmental legislation is putting pressure on divesting from fossil fuel in the energy sector, with the transport sector likely to see the biggest changes. Current alternative energy sources are electric vehicles and hydrogen. Conventional hydrogen production technologies are fossil fuel based, emitting significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. This paper explores various ways to integrate solar thermal technologies into hydrogen production to generate carbon free hydrogen in South Africa. South Africa's abundant solar resource indicates that the country may become a significant player in the hydrogen market. However, the high capital cost associated with solar thermal energy put solar thermal hydrogen at a price disadvantage against conventional production technologies. Significant market penetration for solar thermal hydrogen is not expected within the next decade, but cost reduction due to improved manufacturing techniques and larger manufacturing volumes might close the gap in the long term. (C) 2018 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.