New research by the Australian Hydrogen Centre (AGIG) shows renewable hydrogen can be a vital part of Australia’s clean energy transition by using existing gas distribution networks to deliver carbon-free gas to Australian homes, business and industry.
AGIG chief executive officer Craig de Laine said the reports show the significant role renewable hydrogen delivered through existing gas distribution networks can play to help reduce carbon emissions.
“We have always said there is no single solution to the enormous task of decarbonising our homes and businesses – and we need more options, not fewer, to give us the greatest chance of achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets while also maintaining the security, reliability and diversity of energy supply the community expects,” he said.
“Renewable gases such as renewable hydrogen and biomethane have a critical role to play in ensuring a smooth transition, creating new jobs and industries and as a low carbon energy choice for Australians. Allowing customers to continue to choose how they decarbonise should remain a fundamental part of our energy system going forward.”
According to de Laine, many Australian large employers require the ongoing use of gas to decarbonise energy use and stay in business.
“Renewable gases such as hydrogen will provide this energy. Our gas infrastructure provides the means to supply renewable gas safely, reliably and efficiently in the same way we do today,” he said.
This report shows that a 10 per cent blend of renewable hydrogen in our distribution networks can be a no-regrets pathway for carbon emissions reduction.
It also shows that Australia has the potential to unlock a cost-efficient pathway towards 100 per cent renewable hydrogen, making the most of our existing built infrastructure to help deliver on the transition.
“Around four thousand AGIG domestic gas customers are already enjoying blended renewable hydrogen gas in South Australia through our Hydrogen Park South Australia facility, and are reporting the same high levels of performance, safety, reliability and convenience as natural gas,” de Laine said.
“In the longer term, the transition to renewable hydrogen can deliver significant economic dividends as the cost of production decreases.”
According to de Laine, using existing technology to produce and supply 100 per cent hydrogen can result in stable energy bills similar to projections of customer bills from 2021, excluding any cost of carbon or technology breakthroughs, which would put additional downward pressure on costs.
“AGIG is proud to be a leading investor in hydrogen, but the key to continued investment and maximising the carbon reduction and economic benefits from hydrogen deployment is ensuring we have supportive policy to create a sustainable investment ecosystem,” de Laine said.
“This is just the start of what is possible for Australia’s energy system. We want to be able to continue to make investments and realise our low carbon vision of fully transitioning our gas distribution networks to renewable gas by 2040 as a stretch target, and no later than 2050.”