Hydrogen may just be the next frontier for the success of renewable energy and the next infrastructure boom.
This was quite possibly the biggest lesson from the workshop I attended today on Hydrogen Applications in the Mining and Resources Sector.
I was invited to partake in the all-day workshop in Perth on 30 August 2018. Organised by H2U, a leading Australian hydrogen project developer, the event was aimed at outlining the strategy for Australia to become the number 1 exporter of “green hydrogen” – that is, hydrogen sourced from renewable energy.
As it is, hydrogen is of major use in agriculture, transport, and (renewable) energy storage. Korea and Japan are already shifting quickly toward the use of hydrogen for their transport and energy generation. Unlike many other countries, they are committed to their Paris CO2 emissions pledges – leading the way by creating the export case for green hydrogen.
Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, and the CSIRO (unveiling the National Hydrogen Roadmap for Australia) put a strong case together for green hydrogen in Australia looking to the future. He today revealed a long-term strategy for Western Australia to become the major exporter of dedicated renewable energy in the form of hydrogen, utilising large solar fields in the northwest of Australia.
This approach seems to have bipartisan support from Canberra. And there’s no wonder – an export opportunity for Australia with a non-depletable resource (solar PV), this will create thousands of jobs and a lot of value for the Australian economy.
It will take a few years to get the strategy right and start setting up the large-scale infrastructure required, but Australia has experience in constructing and implementing both energy generation and off-grid mining infrastructure. In other words, watch this space!