Sci Dev Net on 01 February 2013

South Africa’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) has been laboriously pushing for the development of hydrogen fuel-cell technology through an ambitious research and development (R&D) strategy since 2005. Fuel cells can convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen into electric power.

The strategy is ambitious because it aims to enable the export of high-value products into growing international hydrogen fuel-cell markets when there is currently almost no domestic industry or market.

The goal of dipping a toe in the waters of a fledgling and uncertain hydrogen fuel-cell technology baffled a great many sceptics. The technology is not yet commercially viable, and the prospect of hydrogen fuel cells becoming a technology of the future is still in doubt.

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