The Western Australian (WA) state government has launched its Renewable Hydrogen Strategy to position the region as a major producer and exporter of the resource.
One facet of Australia’s evolving energy mix is renewable hydrogen (produced from surplus electricity from wind and solar or biomass) which is being touted as an ideal supply solution for the domestic market, and a highly sought after export product.
The state government in WA has recognised this potential and has just established a $10 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund to facilitate private sector investment in the industry.
The WA region has an enormous land mass with considerable energy sources, existing energy export capabilities and a proximity to Asia where key markets such as Japan and Korea have signalled a shift towards low emissions hydrogen for the future.
The State strategy sets out four strategic focus areas:
- Applications in remotely located industries
- Hydrogen blending in natural gas networks
- Transport using fuel cell electric vehicles
In addition to close collaboration with Canberra and regulatory bodies to support reform and foster renewable hydrogen growth, the WA Government has established a dedicated unit to co-ordinate the State's work on growing the industry, both domestically and for export.
"Hydrogen is a means to export our world-class solar and wind resources,” said Regional Development Minister, Alannah MacTiernan, “helping our international trading partners to meet their emissions reduction goals, as well as supporting our industries to transition to a lower carbon future and driving a new job-creating industry for our State.”
Coming off the back of this announcement is the unveiling of the ATCO (Western Australian gas network operator) Clean Energy Innovation Hub, whose objective is to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen gas to support supply to the domestic market.
According to ATCO, ‘Our industry-leading Clean Energy Innovation Hub will be a test bed for hybrid energy solutions and will integrate natural gas, solar PV, battery storage and hydrogen production. It will provide valuable insights into how our extensive existing gas distribution infrastructure can continue to benefit customers as part of the future energy mix.’
It’s an exciting time for renewable hydrogen in WA and nationwide, and this investment and commitment is creating a number of supply and development opportunities within our ever evolving industry. For more detail on this check out our recent podcast on this topic