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Seismic surveys for natural gas: Green hydrogen is a better long-term option

The very same reasons that motivated the High Court in Makanda to order that seismic surveys on the Eastern Cape coast must be stopped are applicable in the latest fight against such surveys on the Western and Northern Cape coast. Ultimately, green hydrogen remains the best option for future power provision.

Shortly after civil society obtained victory in a legal battle against seismic surveys on the Eastern Cape coast, a similar battle follows for the Western and Northern Cape coast.

The aim of these surveys is to determine whether there are any exploitable natural gas reserves hidden under the seabed.

The FF Plus recognises that the combustion of natural gas has certain environmental advantages in comparison to using petroleum products, but maintains its view that it is not urgent nor necessary to find new sources of this particular resource.

While the current sources are adequate for the next few decades, South Africa ought to rather move in the direction of green hydrogen to meet future demands.

Green hydrogen is when hydrogen gas is produced using renewable resources. A project focused on doing just that – funded by a large investment from the energy magnate Sasol – is already underway at Boegoebaai in the Northern Cape's Richtersveld.

The Northern Cape government is actively involved in constructing the necessary infrastructure and the West Coast is ideally located to use wind and solar energy to produce hydrogen gas.

Meanwhile, Hydrogen SA (HySA) is researching, with the objective of implementing, the use of hydrogen gas as fuel. South Africa could become a world leader in the field of hydrogen economy and could, thus, avoid the environmental risks related to the mining of fossil fuels.

 

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