Verdant driving green hydrogen revolution
In Australia, there are multiple hydrogen hubs being proposed by the various State Governments as well as broad reaching plans announced by the Federal Government in August 2022 as part of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy which is setting a vision for a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry that benefits all Australians. It aims to position the hydrogen industry as a major global player by 2030.
Local Sydney based renewable energy company, Verdant Earth is driving forward with plans to produce green hydrogen from its Hunter Valley power plant that was previously a coal fired power station. CEO Richard Poole says “Energy generated from the Hunter Valley project stands to produce green hydrogen as well as feed renewable power to the New South Wales grid at a time when the grid is under enormous pressure due to the energy crisis. Which could supply twice as many households as in Newcastle today.” says Richard Poole.
The European Commission has also said it wants 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers to be installed in the EU by 2030.
At the recent COP27 climate conference in Egypt, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described green hydrogen as “one of the most important technologies for a climate neutral world.”
He said, “Green hydrogen is the key to decarbonizing our economies, especially for hard to electrify sectors such as steel production, the chemical industry, heavy shipping and aviation,” Scholz added, although he did acknowledge that there was a significant amount of work was needing to be done for the sector to mature. “Of course, green hydrogen is still an infant industry, its production is currently too cost intensive compared to fossil fuels,” he said. “There’s also a ‘chicken and egg’ dilemma of supply and demand where market actors block each other, waiting for the other to move.”
Also appearing on the COP27 round table discussion was Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy who stated “Hydrogen will be indispensable for the decarbonization of industry,”.
Described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier,” hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in a wide range of industries.
It can be produced in a number of ways. One method includes electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen.
If the electricity used in this process comes from a renewable source such as wind or solar then some call it “green” or “renewable” hydrogen. Today, the vast majority of hydrogen generation is based on fossil fuels. “The question is, for us now, how do we get there in a world which is still driven, in terms of business, by hydrocarbons,” he added. “So it requires an extra effort to make green hydrogen projects work.”
Hydrogen can make an essential contribution as a high-density, zero-emissions fuel as part of our renewable journey.
For us to meet future demand while avoiding the by-products of our current energy sources we must find alternatives and green hydrogen is at the forefront of renewable energy solutions that can help us drive to a net-zero future in Australia.
Now is the time for action.