ARENA says renewables could be Australia’s next great export

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ARENA launches $20m funding round for hydrogen, both for renewable energy exports and for domestic “power-to-gas” storage.

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has formally announced a $20 million funding round to encourage early stage research and development into hydrogen and the export of renewable energy such as “solar fuels”.

The funding round marks ARENA’s first step into the so-called “hydrogen economy”, and comes after it sought feedback in September to get an idea of what idea were in the market and what sort of funding would be needed.

Many in the industry see hydrogen, or other carriers such as ammonia, as an avenue for Australia to duplicate its lucrative energy exports, but with solar and other renewable fuels rather than LNG or thermal coal.

The idea is to use excess wind and solar, and take advantage of its continued cost falls, to use electrolysis to convert electrical energy into hydrogen, and then ship this to markets in north Asia or other countries hungry for low carbon fuels.

“Australia exports approximately three quarters of the energy it produces, in the form of coal and gas,” says CEO Ivor Frischknecht.

“Having some of the best solar and wind power resources in the world, Australia could become a superpower in exports of renewable energy, globally, leveraging existing relationships and growing global low carbon energy demand in countries such as Japan, South Korea and China.”

He is not the only person to believe this. Professor Ross Garnaut and former Clean Energy Finance Corp CEO Oliver Yates have both pointed to Australia’s potential to emerge as a green energy superpower.

South Australia is already toying with the idea of renewable energy exports and using the hydrogen economy to mop up excess output from its wind and solar farms, both planned and present.

The ACT has also extracted $180 million in investments in the hydrogen economy as part of its reverse auction scheme that will take it to the equivalent of 100 per cent renewable energy for its electricity needs by 2020.

IG-Arena4-Aug4-02 copy

The ACT scheme is focused on the domestic use of hydrogen, either as a storage for clean gas that can be used in the electricity grid, or in the gas mains network.

ARENA also says this so called “power-to-gas” technology can be used within Australia and effectively “time-shift” excess renewable energy for later use.

ARENA says it received 45 responses from its request for information in September, including on renewable energy projects, hydrogen fuel carriers and supply chains in Australia that make use of a carrier material such as ammonia to transport renewable fuel.

“Exporting renewable energy is one of ARENA’s priorities for investment and this RFI illustrates there is great potential,” Frischknecht said.

“Hydrogen is set to play a much larger role in the renewable energy space not only in Australia, but globally as the world moves to a low carbon economy.

“The potential for hydrogen to be a carrier of renewable energy is substantial, which is why ARENA will be looking to fund projects from the production of hydrogen all the way to transporting and end-use.

“ The capability to supply renewable hydrogen at a competitive price is likely to lead to investment throughout the rest of the supply chain, including dedicated renewables for export .”

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61 Comments
  1. Glynn Palmer 11 months ago

    Could hydrogen, produced from electrolysis powered by excess renewable energy, be the solution as an alternative to gas to provide fast response, synchronous peaking electricity generation as a back up to intermittent renewable energy? It may be regarded as another energy storage medium.

    • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

      It can even be injected into the existing natural gas reticulation network.

      • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

        Gas concentrations up to 20% require no modifications to end use appliances. A full technical analysis is here.

        https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/51995.pdf

        • RobertO 11 months ago

          Hi Guy Stewart, I am under the impression that Australia can add up top 10% by volumn with no issues. And if we are using full RE then the gas will only be required some 10 to 15 days a year.

          • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

            Even a 10% by volume contribution would be incredible.

            I’d love to know how many kWh that translates into. Combined with pumped hydro, molten salt, domestic and utility batteries, electric vehicles and backup supplies in critical sites (eg Telstra Exhanges) we have a diverse roadmap of dispatchable power that can support a majority renewable electricity network.

            Everything there seems in grasp, with massive popular support. I am going to talk to a politician tomorrow, this is too good a story with too much potential to allow the conversation to be stuck around lumps of coal.

          • Alastair Leith 11 months ago

            Much better uses for Hydrogen than Greenwashing fossil gas and prolonging what could be (and I’d argue from a CC perspective should be) a redundant energy network that is an emissions intense source of energy and leaks methane — which is 105x as potent as CO2 over the next twenty years as a GHG —leaks methane like a sieve in many locations.

            Not to mention that burning unconventional gas has been shown to be as bad as burning coal to make electricity in terms of GHG emissions given 2.5% or more fugitive emissions (so unconventional gas fields in the states are estimated to be way higher than 2.5% leakage, the atmospheric concentrations of methane factors of ten higher than surrounding areas).

            Hydrogen is always going to need a larger volume of methane to burn in conventional appliances (and then some) so really, what’s the point in prolonging that network with 10% (at most given H2 leakage) greenwash?

          • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

            I agree with your condemnation of the fossil fuel industry. But I still believe that at least 50% if the problem with hydrogen is distribution. Using the existing network removes a massive and expensive barrier that stops ANY hydrogen production and means that wind turbines that could be generating kWh for $0 are being curtailed TODAY in Australia and that potential renewable energy is gone.

            Like how the hybrid car improved regenerative breaking and battery technology, if we get some hydrogen into the network, regardless if its less than perfect will improve other areas that increase its viability.

          • CB 11 months ago

            “50% if the problem with hydrogen is distribution.”

            I think that’s exactly right, but I’d suggest injecting it into existing pipelines doesn’t quite solve some of the other problems with it, and might actually exacerbate them.

            The efficiency of turning energy into hydrogen and back again is absolutely abysmal; 40% on a good day each way.

            Compare that to electrical storage and distribution and you can easily see why it’s superior:

            “Transmission losses in HVDC transmission lines are normally about 3% per 1000 km”

            http://www.trec-uk.org.uk/elec_eng/grid.htm#footnote1

            You can get better efficiencies with hydrogen if you scale up, but if you’re using your network to distribute the hydrogen out, instead of concentrating it, you’ll get lower efficiencies.

            Hydrogen does much better as a long-term storage medium than electricity, but I would suggest instead of keeping it in pure form, it would make much more sense to generate ammonia so you could compress it to a liquid (as the article suggests), or methanol, which is a liquid at room temperature. Your storage density is much higher with such approaches, and your costs much lower.

          • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

            I would take any progress in any direction with energy storage.

            At the moment there is wind generators that are switched off (0% efficiency). In my opinion the hydrogen conversion efficiency problem is one of $ costs, not kWh -> H -> kWh.

            It’s also not either/or for me. I would take a direct injection, ammonia, methanol, or any other method in a real world trial scale.

            If there can be a plan to reduce the up front costs to deploy some hydrogen production, such as using existing distribution (and network storage), it will serve every other avenue of renewable energy storage, and eventually energy price reduction.

            Where renewable kWh are virtually free at peak generation times, the worst thing is to do nothing.

          • CB 11 months ago

            I think that’s all absolutely correct as well.

            I don’t know what the grid looks like in Australia, but in the USA it’s a balkanised mess. That might be the reason why wind generators are idle: There’s not enough bandwidth to get the energy from supply to demand.

            It’s a significant investment to install long-haul electrical capacity, but once it’s in, it’s a huge benefit in terms of efficiency.

            It’s theoretically possible to ship electrical energy halfway around the globe and still do it more efficiently than storing and retrieving the energy on site… but even if you’re using the grid to concentrate renewable energy in facilities which can best handle the chemical reformation, upgrading transmission will give you a benefit with economies of scale in those facilities.

            Upgrading the grid is the one thing that almost every energy provider will benefit from… except for the entrenched providers which have a monopoly over transmission in the first place…

          • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

            Agreed 100%.

            The biggest change that could be made for grid efficiency right now would be increasing the interconnection transmission capacity between the ‘state’ grids.

            South Australia is forging ahead with their massive wind resource. They are often constrained in both import and export of energy to the rest of the national grid. It’s also very vulnerable to damage.

            Tasmania is the nations battery with their relatively huge existing hydro resources.

            Queensland has the nations solar resources.

            Victoria and New South Wales have the historical coal reserves and industrial loads.

          • Bodhisattva 10 months ago

            I don’t know what the grid looks like in Australia, but in the USA it’s a balkanised mess. That might be the reason why wind generators are idle: There’s not enough bandwidth to get the energy from supply to demand.

            No, it’s because the wind isn’t blowing. They’re not idle when the wind is blowing. But that’s the problem – power is needed… often… when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining.

          • Guy Stewart 10 months ago

            That is absolutely false. Wind Power is already curtailed in South Australia. More wind is continuing to get built, it will be curtailed even further in the future. If the interconnections were large enough, that wind would be exported to the other states.

            http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2017/09/how-much-wind-powered-electricity-production-has-been-curtailed-in-sa-since-these-new-constraints-were-invoked/

          • Bodhisattva 10 months ago

            OK, so you’re claiming the direct quote I pulled from CB’s COMMENT, is false?

            I’m not surprised. Most if not all of what she says is false. I would be hard pressed to present a single comment she ever made that does not contain some falsehood.

            What I said – that windmills turn only when the wind blows – remains correct. Or are you claiming they turn when the wind isn’t blowing?

            We may be talking past each other and it may be my fault… I think I meant to make that reply to CB but accidentally made it to you. I was referring to wind power here in the U.S., where, though the grid may in fact be “balkanized” (not really, not if you really look into it) to some minor extent, and you thought I was referring to wind power in Australia.

            Now here the only reason for any “balkanization” of the grid, any failure to be able to carry power that would or is available, is people like CB, who oppose any attempt to build more capacity in powerlines (for electricity) railroads (for coal) or pipes (for petrochemicals). They had a friend in Obama, but he’s gone and Trump knows that to prosper you need energy and to have energy you need infrastructure, so thanks to a more enlightened electorate, we’re actually making progress now.

          • Guy Stewart 10 months ago

            To clarify, the comment I was replying to was “They’re not idle when the wind is blowing.”

            Sometimes Wind Turbines in Australia are idle when the wind is blowing, because there is insufficient infrastructure to get the energy to where it is needed.

          • Bodhisattva 10 months ago

            Yes, I got that, but thanks for making sure.

            Unlike “CB”, every time I’ve been tested it’s been determined I have pretty good comprehension skills.

            We had “insufficient infrastructure” here because the same people that said we needed more renewable energy were against building the infrastructure needed to bring geothermal, wind and solar energy from where it was most economical to produce it to where it was most needed. Several years and millions of dollars of court costs later, the lines needed are… I forget, something on the order of 7-10 times longer and 15-20 times more expensive, but at least they’re completed now.

          • Guy Stewart 10 months ago

            Putting in infrastructure without a long term plan based on realistic future projections can be very wasteful.

            In the long run, I think supporting increased distributed energy will be more cost effective.

          • Bodhisattva 10 months ago

            Unfortunately the geothermal energy is in one county and the market for it is in another, so in the REAL WORLD that is not possible or practical sometimes. Likewise, the wind and solar power options are most lucrative in places where the market for that power does not exist. Then you have the NIMBY factor – the same people who demand renewable energy sources fight tooth and nail to keep them from being built anywhere near where they live. It would be amusing, but it’s really pathetic.

          • Hettie 11 months ago

            Hmm . Nice theory, but isn’t the existing gas distribution full of holes?
            Like the telcom network, it is aging and corroding, but is far less accessible for repairs. Some places like my regional city have abandoned reticulated gas altogether, and now use only bottles, either the two bottlechange system, or a large bottle refilled from a tanker.
            Besides, gas appliances are far more expensive than comparable electricity ones, and if they need modification for hydrogen that’s another cost. Lots of barriers to changing domestic gas to hydrogen.

          • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

            It is, the but it is already leaking natural gas, so better it leak a bit of greenhouse neutral hydrogen.

            Like the telecom network, it is existing infrastructure and therefore use it while you’ve got it.

            The gas network is still massive.

            Existing appliances do not need modification to use up to 20% hydrogen.

            I don’t suggest we try and move over to a 100% hydrogen through the existing network. Just increase the amount of dispatch-able renewable energy in the system.

            This is a great one, because the time the hydrogen is generated does not matter, and it can support the grid when there isn’t enough direct electrical generation from PV and wind.

          • Hettie 11 months ago

            If it’s leaking methane, it should be shut down and bottled gas substituted, or gas appliances replaced with electric. Gas is so expensive now, nearly double what it was 5 years ago, on a per litre basis.

          • Just_Chris 11 months ago

            14-15% by volume is about 5% by energy which is pretty much what most people are saying is a reasonable number.

            Australian household gas usage is approx. 150,000 TJ of gas 5% -> 7500 TJ. To produce 7500 TJ at 70% efficiency (you could probably get better than this but lets start here) you would need 10,700 TJ of energy input or about 3,000,000,000 kWh. About 10% of the RET.

            Japan and South Korea have a combined population of around 180 million what do you think their household gas consumption is?

      • Alastair Leith 11 months ago

        It can be injected into gas networks, but that doesn’t mean any of the hydrogen molecules will end up being burnt in appliances.

        • Guy Stewart 11 months ago

          Where do you think it would go? Leakage was addressed in the report I linked to earlier, and it’s a negligible amount of energy lost. Unlike Methane, Hydrogen is not a greenhouse gas, so it may actually contribute to reducing fugitive emissions.

          • Bodhisattva 10 months ago

            What is the energy density of hydrogen compared to any of several traditional fossil fuels?

  2. Guy Stewart 11 months ago

    New coal mining and thermal power plants require decades of investment certainty to pay back the billions of investment they require.

    I wouldn’t bet on the political status quo sticking around for another 2 decades. Today’s politicians can make all the noise they like, but if they can’t convince the investment community that they are here for the next 20 years, no more coal investment.

    However Australia does have a competitive advantage in the production of renewable energy. Massive solar and wind resources. The next generations of supporting technology just hasn’t been supported in the same way the original electrification of Australia was.

    Imagine the ‘investment value’ of the land for the electricity easements that were given to the power distribution companies when they were first starting out.

    There has been a paucity of research into the next generation of energy resources in Australia. Hydrogen, ethanol, lithium and other chemical battery storage technology. This should be a bi-partisan multi-billion dollar a year industry attracting the best brains from around the world to undertake research in Australia.

    Australia can not compete on mass global commodity manufacturing.
    We can lead the world on cutting edge research, minerals extraction, and Asian energy exports.

    • Alastair Leith 11 months ago

      With the level of automation on it’s way that reduces labor to a fraction of operational expenditure any nation with secure boarders will be competing for, say, Panasonic/Tesla Gigafactories to supply domestic markets. especially with the political will and support, and investment cash looking for local investment opportunities (super funds with a conscience for example). Or whatever technology takes it’s place.

  3. Malcolm M 11 months ago

    I hope someone is in discussions with Incitec Pivot, who have an ammonia plant at Duchess powered by natural gas. This plant supports a phosphate mine, the end product being MAP and DAP fertiliser. Their current gas contract expires in 2020, and if it can’t get a competitive gas contract the mine and plant are likely to close. Australia would then need to import nearly all its phosphate fertiliser. Yet the area has solar resources better than any of the proposed grid-connected solar farms.

  4. Andrew G 11 months ago

    Beyond Zero Emissions has done research on Australia
    becoming a renewable energy superpower. There
    is more to it than just exporting hydrogen.
    http://bze.org.au/renewable-energy-superpower/

    • Alastair Leith 11 months ago

      The renewable energy superpower report is where that phrase originated if I’m not mistaken. BZE members were using it back as far as 2010 anticipating publication of such a plan one day.

  5. John P 11 months ago

    Maybe this is an idea whose time has come.
    I recall this very idea – including both the hydrogen and the ammonia options – was at the heart of a TV documentary presented by ABC TV. The programme showed that research was already underway at the ANU and was being supported by one of the Gulf states.
    I don’t recall the exact date of the ABC transmission, but it was certainly more than 40 years ago.

    • Trent Deverell 11 months ago

      The space programme did wonders for hydrogen, solar and battery technology, but the reality of oil companies owning the earth bound western economies strongly dictated a different direction for global energy policy til more recent times.

      • Just_Chris 11 months ago

        The Japanese started a 100 year energy plan in the 1970’s that aims to essentially replace fossil fuel imports with the “hydrogen society” . They already have over 150,000 household fuel cells installed operating on reformed natural gas with the idea being to transition to hydrogen systems in the future like this one due for release in 2020 – http://news.panasonic.com/global/stories/2017/45928.html.

        Notice how in Japan Panasonic, one of the largest battery producers in the world, is also promoting and developing hydrogen and fuel cells so it can offer a selection of technologies that can be combined to replace the combination of existing technologies. Don’t expect the same in Australia – we’ll separate into teams and duke it out even though rationally there is no chance of 1 technology replacing everything that currently exists in the market.

  6. Hettie 11 months ago

    Hydrogen makes me very nervous. Hindenberg.

    • Trent Deverell 11 months ago

      So you never seen petrol, methane or LPG do same thing if mishandled.

      • Hettie 11 months ago

        Fair point.

        • CB 11 months ago

          I mean, it’s literally the same substance.

          The energy in petrol comes from the hydrogen bonds. The carbon atoms serve to keep the material in a liquid state.

          You can use nitrogen to bond the hydrogen to create a gas that’s compressible to a liquid, as suggested in the article, and you can also take a low-carbon fuel and add an oxygen atom to get a liquid at room temperature. Methane => methanol.

          Lots of options!

          • Hettie 11 months ago

            I’m not saying I’m right, I’m saying it makes me very nervous.

          • Just_Chris 11 months ago

            I think you are right to be nervous. Electricity, petrol, lpg, lithium ion batteries, hydrogen, methane, a high fat diet, etc. these all have the potential to kill you. The thing we should be doing is managing the risks with well developed standards and practices.

          • Hettie 11 months ago

            Yes. As there are other, far more less explosive ways to store energy. Australia is rich in the raw materials for batteries and also sorely needs manufacturing industries that can add value to those raw materials. To me , those are powerful arguments to put hydrogen well down the list of options.
            As EVs become more popular, their batteries will become an increasingly important energy store. We should be looking at those things first.

          • CB 11 months ago

            “There are other, far less explosive ways to store energy.”

            Maybe you should check out some of the battery short-circuiting videos on youtube…

            Energy density is what you want in a storage medium… and it’s exactly the same thing that causes explosions to be more extreme. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a free lunch there, regardless of what one chooses.

            My suggestion is that if something does explode, it would be nice to have the remnants of that explosion not contaminate the land. Nuclear energy does very poorly in that area, and batteries slightly better… but hydrogen would be 100% clean after an explosion, and methane not much worse. This tragedy killed many people, but the area is 100% safe to visit now:

            abc7news.com/news/pg-e-receives-maximum-sentence-for-2010-san-bruno-explosion/1722674
            cdn.abclocal.go.com/content/kgo/images/cms/1723024_1280x720.jpg

          • Hettie 11 months ago

            I take your point. Yes the resulting water after a H2 explosion is certainly safe, but the fire is ferocious and everything flammable in the area will also burn, with consequent pollution. Visceral fear is not easily overcome, even when the logic is unassailable.
            I’ll work on it.

          • CB 11 months ago

            “Visceral fear is not easily overcome, even when the logic is unassailable.”

            lol!

            Just wait until you start experiencing range anxiety!

            That was way tougher than I anticipated…

          • Hettie 11 months ago

            That’s not likely for me.
            My 20 year old Lancer died in July, and I have replaced it with an electric tricycle, but battery, seat and wheel alignment issues have been a barrier to use. However, once that is all sorted, the range of 40km will be more than adequate for my 10km round trips!

    • Ian 11 months ago

      Go with your gut-instinct on this storage option. As a feed-stock for a chemical industry or as an extender for fossil fuel gas supply maybe a good idea but as an export medium for renewable electricity who knows.

      Why not use other creative ideas for solar and wind abundance. Here’s one: server farms. We know these things are very energy hungry – one of the recent articles talked about the energy cost of bitcoin mining- there is nothing to say that computer processing needs to be a 24/7 activity, advantage could be made of excess intermittent energy supply to process information and the results sent all over the world. Our mates in Chile or Morocco could provide computing power when we cannot and vice versa.

      • Hettie 11 months ago

        I like your mind.

      • Alastair Leith 11 months ago

        You store it as ammonia.

        • Hettie 11 months ago

          A spill of industrial quantities of concentrated ammonia from an overturned tanker is an environmental and public health nightmare.
          Let’s look at the safe and stable options first.

          • Alastair Leith 11 months ago

            Manufacture, store and generate electrical power using ammonia in the one place with a fat grid connection via HVAC transmission. No tankers or transport required. Some form of power2gas is a no brainer when you consider the cost of covering a week or more of power during a wwind drought with low insolation, especially on morenisloated grids like SWIS and even end of grid SA.

    • Bodhisattva 10 months ago

      Saw a demonstration of a high powered, armor piercing rifle round shot clean through a metal container of hydrogen. The container leaked all the hydrogen out, end of demonstration.

      Then again, I also saw a rapid mixing of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen when the space shuttle Challenger self-destructed on launch.

      • Hettie 10 months ago

        Thanks for the balance. In an MBA, where metal on metal is likely to generate sparks, the risk of a hydrogen fire seems to me to be a risk not worth taking. Yes, the product of hydrogen combustion I’d water, but cars contain many combustible materials that are extremely polluting. I know, some ICE vehicles crash and burn, but not all that many. Hydrogen? Dunno, and as I said, it makes me very nervous.

        • Bodhisattva 10 months ago

          Server errors all the time now.

          It is true that there is a risk of explosion and fire, I wasn’t attempting to deny that. But it’s not certain, as you seem to suggest as well.

          Now the real issue with hydrogen is “energy density”. How much actual work do you get per unit volume of fuel. Hydrogen does not produce as much work as typical gasoline blends do per unit volume. Like electric cars, without dangerous extremely high pressure storage tanks on board, their range and weight capabilities will be limited.

        • Dennis Abbott.. 10 months ago

          Hi Hettie, an interesting paper authored by my brother Derek answers many of the questions you have raised regarding Hydrogen, including a Hydrogen myths section. Give it a read if you have the time, ( Sorry having computer problems cannot attach hyperlink, can be googled )
          Abbott. Keeping The Energy Debate Clean; How Do We Supply The World’s Energy Needs ?

          • Hettie 10 months ago

            Thanks, Dennis. I’ll look it up.

  7. Alastair Leith 11 months ago

    The ACT scheme is focused on the domestic use of hydrogen, either as a
    storage for clean gas that can be used in the electricity grid, or in
    the gas mains network.

    Good luck ACT (and Adelaide) trialing the use of H2 in the fossil gas network… they tried that in Chicago and approximately none of all those the hydrogen molecules made it as far as appliances. For long term energy storage it makes some sense, but very little to me in distributed in a methane network where it will always need mostly methane (to burn in conventional appliances). This is such a ridiculous proposition it’s right up their with City of Sydeny’s (now thankfully defunct) Precinct Power Plan (that came with a concept and marketing budget of a cool $1m) to bury a third energy distribution network in the form of hot water pipes (very OS&H friendly). The Hydrogen injection concpet has been embraced by so many (not least the gas networks) no doubt because it will serve as green-wash for our leaky GHG intense fossil gas network for the next couple of decades — if allowed.

    The best thing we could do with that fossil gas network (currently being replaced with new mains pipes in my home town at great expense because even methane leaks like a sieve from it) is shifting all domestic and commercial appliances to electricity to save energy and cost and shut down what could easily become a redundant GHG emitting network. As per the BZE & MEI Buildings Plan 2012.

    • Just_Chris 11 months ago

      Singapore still runs a city gas network that has 50% hydrogen in the mix.There have been some pretty significant and successful trials in Germany as well. The new mains network they are putting in where you live will be ployethelene and thus pretty much be hydrogen ready.

      I completely agree with the sentiment that we need to have a careful look at what it would cost to transition to a hydrogen distribution network and what are the alternatives but with respect to is it possible I think it would be very difficult to argue that we couldn’t transition because of a technical road block.

  8. William 11 months ago

    I like the idea of using this technology as storage to avoid the complexities involved in its transportation. Instead of battery storage solar or wind farms could run generators with the hydrogen they have produced to meet demand shortfalls. Might be cheaper than batteries.

    • Hettie 11 months ago

      That sounds better. Using it where it is produced to generate power in the wind/solar downtime makes a lot of sense. None of the risks or waste associated with transport, startup time as rapid as long, raw material water….
      What to do with any surplus?
      Fuel for a handily sited steel works??? Or aluminium smelter???

  9. Tim Buckley 11 months ago

    Great to see ARENA continuing in its role as a promoter of RD&D for new low emissions technologies. $20m is a tiny fraction of what ‘our’ government has spent on CCS promotion over the last decade, all with zero benefit to taxpayers or the environment. Should hydrogen work as a storage mechanism for renewable energy, that will help accelerate the inevitable energy system transformation already underway. A huge investment opportunity for Australia.

  10. Greg Hudson 11 months ago

    Someone needs to look toward Iceland to see what can actually be done exporting RE (as opposed to talking about it). Geothermal => hydrogen is just as easy as Wind/Solar… except it has been done already.

  11. Bodhisattva 10 months ago

    Hydrogen is not as “energy dense” as fossil fuels, this argument has been made, and defeated, before. Now I’m all for finding creative ways where hydrogen might be the fuel of choice, despite it’s much higher costs, and for ways to bring those costs down. But you have to remember, any process to convert energy from one form to another not only causes some loss – and these processes Australia might use to export excess energy would require conversion on both ends – but also produces excess heat, generally. Isn’t it excess heat that is the real alleged problem.

    Fortunately, those who are full of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change Alarmism simply haven’t been paying attention to science lately, where it is announced that previous gloom and doom scenarios have been greatly exaggerated, as reported by AFP News:

    Earth’s surface will almost certainly not warm up four or five degrees Celsius by 2100, according to a study released Wednesday which, if correct, voids worst-case UN climate change predictions.

    A revised calculation of how greenhouse gases drive up the planet’s temperature reduces the range of possible end-of-century outcomes by more than half, researchers said in the report, published in the journal Nature.

    In other news, claims of polar bears going extinct seem also to have been greatly exaggerated:

    https://polarbearscience.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/crockford-and-geist_range_winter-2018-conservation_fiasco.pdf

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