For our June edition, Dr Andries van der Linde sat down with the Trade Mission the potential centred around renewable energy, his experience working with Israeli businesses, and how Israeli Innovation can assist in keeping organizations competitive and future proof.
Give us a background about Harvard Green Energy (HGE)?
Dr Andries van der Linde (co-founder) and Jonathan Tyler (co-founder) joined forces due to a mutual interest in Hydrogen as a potential source of energy. As a result of this interest and the potential they saw in Hydrogen, they registered Harvard Green Energy (HGE).
The founders, both highly educated in the field of hydrogen and renewable energy, identified that the future of hydrogen lies within green hydrogen as opposed to blue, grey and brown hydrogen. Therefore, green hydrogen, and consequently Photovoltaics (PVs) and wind energy became the focus of HGE. Dr Andries known as the first person to erect a wind farm in South Africa is thus more than qualified to utilize wind power for the generation of green hydrogen.
Harvard Green Energy also focuses on the use of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Syngas and Methane gas to compliment Hydrogen, to increase energy efficiency and to lower the cost of energy.
What interesting comparisons can you draw between Israel and its booming start-up scene, and SA and its rapidly growing Energy sector?
DA: Israel has done extensive work in the field of Hydrogen, electrolysis and fuel cell development. In addition to their vast superiority in tech innovation.
All of the above are the building blocks for successful construction of an energy generation plant. Not only empowering one to generate the electricity, but the tech involved will make it possible to control the operation remotely and enable autonomous generation.
Through the holistic provision of technologies, HGE believes that Israel can make a large difference to growth in South Africa, due to the spill over from reliable provision of energy.
Please tell us about your relationship with the Trade Mission in SA, and your experience doing business with Israel.
DA: In the pursuit of generating green hydrogen, HGE was looking for the relevant technologies for the process of electrolysis. Bearing in mind that South Africa is a semi-arid country, and water is imperative for the generation of hydrogen, HGE turned to Israel who is the thaumaturge of water. HGE were connected through the trade mission to companies specializing in desalination and a variety of other technologies necessary for successful green hydrogen generation. Thus, started the relationship with the Israeli trade mission to South Africa. Through the trade mission, there has been various introductions to innovative companies in Israel, and HGE is currently in contact with various companies in Israel.
Did you find the Trade Mission helpful towards finding success in your business?
DA: “Since the first interaction with the trade mission, I received absolutely friendly and helpful service. As a matter of fact, more than anything else, I made a friend. This friendship is growing, which is an indication of the good results which is presented by the trade mission. I experienced that a lot of effort is put into assisting HGE, and to ensure that the correct introductions are made to HGE.” – Dr Andries van der Linde.
Harvard Green Energy further stated that there has been a very high success rate with the Israeli companies, and where the introductions were not successful, was not a result of the trade mission but rather incompatibility in terms of feasibility or viability. Nonetheless, the work is excellent and in terms of service, the trade mission always exceeds our expectation.
Would you recommend other entities in SA to work with the Trade Mission?
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