Australia’s Smart Energy Council will partner with the German Energy Agency to cooperate on the development and certification of the production of renewable hydrogen in each of the countries, including the creation of a certification scheme that covers renewable hydrogen, ammonia and other green fuels and materials derived from green hydrogen.
The certification scheme will include the creation of a new ‘guarantee of origin’ scheme, allowing the production of green hydrogen to be tracked and differentiated from hydrogen that may be produced through the use of fossil fuels.
The cooperative agreement will also see the two peak bodies work together on initiatives that support new green hydrogen developments, as well as driving trade between Australia and Germany across the full hydrogen supply chain.
“The Smart Energy Council is delighted to be partnering with the German Energy Agency on the development and certification of renewable hydrogen, renewable ammonia and carbon neutral power fuels,” Chief executive of the Smart Energy Council, John Grimes said. “These fuels are critical to building a prosperous, zero carbon economy.”
“dena welcomes our partnership with the Australian Smart Energy Council,” CEO of dena, Andreas Kuhlmann added. “International partnerships are key to tackling climate change and the attainment of our joint energy objectives.”
The creation of a certification scheme for hydrogen has production has received strong backing from both within the energy industry and amongst environmental groups. While hydrogen has been touted as a potential energy storage medium, and transport fuel, that can be produced using zero emissions sources of energy, some of been wary of the potential for hydrogen to be produced from fossil fuels, or using fossil-fuelled supplies of electricity.
The National Hydrogen Strategy, prepared by chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel, and adopted by federal, state and territory energy ministers through the former COAG Energy Council, recommended that Australia be involved the creation of an international hydrogen certification scheme, that would track the origin and associated emissions intensity of different supplies of hydrogen.
A certification of origin scheme could allow supplies of hydrogen to be tagged with their country of origin, details about the methods used to produce the hydrogen and whether the inputs into the production process had been sourced from fossil fuels or renewable energy projects.
Following the endorsement of the hydrogen strategy by energy ministers, the federal government launched a process of industry and community consultation around the creation of such a hydrogen certification scheme in May last year.
International partnerships were identified as a key requirement of a successful certification scheme, particularly with a rapidly emerging green hydrogen industry in Australia looking to establish itself as a major exporter of zero emissions energy to overseas markets.
Through the partnership, the Smart Energy Council and dena would also look to cooperate on identifying barriers to the use of hydrogen fuels and engage in wider international collaborations, including through the Global Alliance Powerfuels initiative.
Smart Energy Council chief John Grimes has previously told RenewEconomy that the establishment of such a certification scheme had become a priority project for the industry peak body and that it would work to establish a scheme in Australia that mirrored the CertifHy scheme that is currently being developed in Europe.
Grimes said that the energy sector had embraced the organisation’s plans to develop a certification of origin scheme and that there was wide-ranging enthusiasm for a scheme that would help address some of the barriers to establishing a market for zero emissions fuels.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response to the announcement of our Zero Carbon Certification Scheme. We have been inundated with e-mails and phone calls from renewable hydrogen and renewable ammonia project developers, investors and project partners, as well as researchers and industry players,” Grimes said.
“We have been particularly impressed by the discussions that we are having with international partners, like dena. I am confident that together we can build a world-leading certification scheme for renewable hydrogen, renewable ammonia and renewable metals.
“These are the industries and the jobs of the future and Australia should be a world leader in this space,” Grimes added.