Global call to deliver hydrogen plan Down Under

By Jim Plouffe

An international expression of interest has been issued by Australia’s leading energy providers to help deliver the nation’s low carbon vision through hydrogen.

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) Chief Executive Officer Ben Wilson said AGIG, Jemena Gas Networks, AusNet and Evoenergy had released a joint expression of interest for information from the international hydrogen supply chain on the cost of deploying renewable hydrogen at scale.

“Through this expression of interest process, suppliers of key inputs to the international hydrogen supply chain are invited to comment on the feasibility, approach and cost of achieving 10 per cent renewable hydrogen by volume across gas networks in the eastern and southern states of Australia,” Wilson said.

“We believe this objective is achievable by 2030, and that a systematic approach will deliver economies of scale and cost reductions to benefit our customers.”

The international expression of interest will help the Australian industry meet the targets set out in Gas Vision 2050 released in mid-2017.

Gas Vision 2050 sets the trajectory for decarbonising gas supply into the future through hydrogen and other renewable sources.

“Gas Vision 2050 sets out three phases as to how the transition to a lower carbon gas supply system would occur in Australia,” Wilson, right, said.

“Importantly, this piece of work will inform our move beyond demonstrations to the second phase of commercial-scale blending in gas networks.”

AGIG is based in Adelaide, South Australia and has been leading work on exploring the feasibility of blending hydrogen into natural gas networks in South Australia and Victoria through the establishment of the Australian Hydrogen Centre (AHC).

The AHC, which is being driven by AGIG company Australian Gas Networks, will develop feasibility studies into injecting up to 10 per cent renewable hydrogen into the gas distribution network of one yet to be chosen regional town in South Australia and two in Victoria.

Building on the feasibility studies for regional towns, the AHC will also develop feasibility studies to inject up to 10 per cent renewable hydrogen into the gas distribution networks of South Australia and Victoria and develop a pathway to make the transition to 100 per cent hydrogen networks.

In addition, the AHC will share key insights and data from the operations of Australian Gas Networks’ flagship project, the $11.4 million Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA).

The project is being constructed at the Tonsley innovation precinct south of Adelaide and is expected to be operational by mid-this year. It will be Australia’s largest renewable hydrogen production facility, producing hydrogen and blending it into the gas distribution network in suburban Mitchell Park.

The key piece of infrastructure at the Tonsley hydrogen park will be a 1.25MW proton exchange membrane electrolyser, which will use purchased renewable electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas.

Featured picture: An artist’s render of the Hydrogen Park SA being built at Tonsley. (Image supplied)

This article originally appeared at The Lead SA.

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