Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), just completed two decades of upgrades to its infrastructure, which means the city’s gas mains are hydrogen-ready.
“Australia has some of the world’s most modern networks, and now Melbourne has 100 per cent polyethylene and protected-steel mains, making it a hydrogen-ready city” said AGIG chief executive officer Craig de Laine.
“Our mains replacement program, while driven by improving safety, means our AGN mains are now hydrogen-ready, with work to replace the mains on our other Victorian network, Multinet Gas Network, set to be complete in under a decade.
“The majority of Victorians use gas today, and our customers tell us they want to use renewable gas into the future.”
De Laine said this was that future AGIG was investing in through the mains replacement program and beyond.
“Our investment in Hydrogen Park Murray Valley in Wodonga means that 40,000 households, businesses and industrial sites in the region, are set to be the first Victorians to receive hydrogen blends of up to 10 per cent in just 18 months’ time,” he said.
According to de Laine, from Melbourne’s CBD to Mill Park, Dandenong to Echuca, Bairnsdale to Portsea – which represent investment of nearly $600 million in the AGN mains replacement program – changing from legacy steel and cast iron to new polyethylene and protected-steel pipes means the mains are among the safest and most reliable of anywhere in the world, operating with fewer fugitive emissions and compatible with delivering 100 per cent renewable hydrogen with minor incremental investment.
“HyHome – our hydrogen-ready demonstration home in Melbourne – is fitted with a cooktop, ducted heating, hot water and BBQ operating on 100 per cent hydrogen, which looks and performs the same as gas appliances today,” de Laine said.
“This showcases that hydrogen is a ready to move technology that can be part of everyday living for Victorians.
“We have always said there is no single solution to the enormous task of decarbonising our homes and businesses.”
For de Laine, reaching emissions reduction targets is all about ensuring decarbonisation options at a lower cost.
“We need more options, not fewer, to give us the greatest chance of achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets while maintaining the security, reliability and diversity of energy supply the community expects – and also ensure there is ongoing energy market competition to deliver decarbonisation at lowest cost,” he said.
“It makes good economic sense – especially given the cost of living crisis – to use existing infrastructure which Victorians have already invested in to deliver new forms of renewable energy like hydrogen and biomethane while keeping our system secure and reliable.
“Today gas allows our Victorian customers to cook their dinners and heat their homes with far fewer emissions than coal fired electricity, and with greater reliability.”