Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Strategies Gain Political Momentum
On 8th July 2020, the European Commission unveiled its Hydrogen Strategy and officially launched the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance to deliver on it.
- For Europe, hydrogen is essential to supporting the EU’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and for the global effort to implement the Paris Agreement while working towards zero pollution.
- Hydrogen is seen as a potential silver bullet to decarbonise hard-to-abate industrial sectors like steel and chemicals, which currently rely on fossil fuels and cannot easily switch to electricity.
- Hydrogen is also seen as a long-term solution for shipping, aviation and heavy-duty road transport where electrification is not feasible at the moment.
- Although the primary aim is heavy duty transport, the EU will increase the number of hydrogen filling stations to supply hydrogen to end-consumers, potentially supporting a broader use of fuel cell vehicles.
- According to some analysts, these developments in the hydrogen sector are providing a positive medium-term demand signal for several metals, including platinum, chromium and nickel.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health threat requiring actions and precautionary behaviour from all kinds of stakeholders, from governments and industries to individuals. It poses an especially serious threat to some of the countries where PGMs are mined, e.g. to the vulnerable communities in South Africa. Members of the IPA, both mining companies and fabricators, are facing different challenges depending on the countries they are operating in. In South Africa, a great focus currently lies on helping the government to roll-out vaccines at the mines and in mining communities, and to increase vaccine acceptance through a communications and education strategy. With its exsiting healthcare infrastructure, the mining sector can provide a great deal of support in accelarating the vaccination of the South African population.
Daily updates on the number of cases and the situation in South Africa can be found on the dashboard of the Minerals Council of South Africa:
Here is a snapshot of what the PGM industry is doing to counter the spread of COVID-19 amongst its workforce and the people living in the operations’ neighbourhoods.