IRENA’s recent report, Hydrogen From Renewable Power, is a great read and particularly relevant for Australia. While the power sector will do the immediate work of emissions reduction as the low carbon technology is available and economic, there are a number of other sectors than can decarbonise through electrification and energy efficiency measures. However, IRENA’s estimate is that around 25% of global emission reduction requirements will be difficult as sectors such as steel making, cement production, chemical manufacture and freight transport cannot easily decarbonise.
However, hydrogen is the missing link here. Renewable power-to-hydrogen can provide part of the answer to those sectors’ decarbonisation whether the hydrogen is used as fuel source or feedstock. It provides added flexibility by accommodating large shares of renewable energy that is expected to come online in the decades ahead.
The huge potential and opportunity for Australia is obvious. Countries such as Australia with abundant and cheap renewable energy could produce hydrogen to transport to other countries that have limited renewable energy power generation. In Australia in particular, there is the possibility of transport of renewable energy via hydrogen from remote locations to major urban or industrial areas.
Production of hydrogen today is from natural gas (48%), oil (30%), coal (18%) with only 4% from electrolysis. In Australia, most hydrogen is generated via the gasification of coal. While the potential for renewable energy to hydrogen here is obvious and huge, will we see push back and mis-information from the coal sector against electrolysis / power to hydrogen?
Given the concerted effort that the coal industry has made, and it’s influence over some of our politicians, in slowing the transition to renewable energy, those wanting to progress the renewable power to hydrogen sector should get ready for this.
- Posted by Freshwater Group
- On October 8, 2018
- 0 Comment