The Labor Party has announced that it will commit to establishing a National Hydrogen Plan, supporting hydrogen as the fuel of choice in the future.
Energy Networks Australia CEO, Andrew Dillon, said hydrogen not only has enormous potential as a new Australian export industry, it offered the prospect of zero-emission energy and storage to backup renewable power, utilising existing gas networks.
“Hydrogen technology is being embraced around the world – in northern Europe, for example, for domestic and commercial use in gas networks and to fuel passenger and freight trains,” Mr Dillon said.
“It can be produced carbon free from excess renewable energy – during sunny and windy days when generation is high and demand is low – making Australia uniquely placed to develop a hydrogen industry with our abundant solar and wind resources.
“While the potential for export is enormous, one of the most exciting properties of hydrogen is its potential to serve as a large-scale battery, utilising existing gas networks.”
Mr Dillon said national policies that supported the development of a hydrogen sector were essential to help Australia meet its potential and take advantage of a potentially abundant, clean energy resource.
“Funding support for research and development, led nationally, that supports the ultimate commercialisation of hydrogen technologies will provide important impetus,” Mr Dillon said.
“Energy Networks Australia supported the CSIRO on the 2018 National Hydrogen Roadmap and has worked with Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, who is developing a national strategy with the support of the Commonwealth and state governments.
“Our gas network members are undertaking significant hydrogen related projects throughout Australia, trialling hydrogen in gas networks and for use in domestic appliances.
“As Energy Networks Australia’s Gas Vision 2050 report has demonstrated, hydrogen’s scope is impressive, with potential to widen a customer’s power options, improve and increase renewable generation and even create a new energy export market.”
Lauren Butler is the assistant editor for Utility Magazine. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia.