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Prime Mover Magazine

Australia set to lead global hydrogen market

Australia is set to take a world-leading role in producing low-emissions hydrogen production, as highlighted in the 2018 World Energy Outlook (WEO) report, released by the International Energy Agency.

World Energy Outlook 2018 details global energy trends and what possible impact they will have on supply and demand, carbon emissions, air pollution, and energy access. Its scenario-based analysis outlines different possible futures for the energy system, contrasting the path taken by current and planned policies with those that can meet long-term climate goals under the Paris Agreement, reduce air pollution, and ensure universal energy access.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matthew Canavan, said Australia’s existing infrastructure and expertise in hydrogen, as well as established and emerging projects in every state and territory, gave Australia a natural advantage in hydrogen production.

“The WEO report makes special note of the increasing opportunities for low-emissions hydrogen energy production and use, and uses Australia as an example of its vast potential to produce, use and export hydrogen,” said Canavan. “It could be a real game changer for emissions reductions and energy security.”

According to Canavan, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, is preparing a plan for a National Hydrogen Strategy, which the federal and state governments will consider in December.

“This work complements the significant investment the Coalition Government has already made in the hydrogen energy sector,” said Canavan.

Hydrogen is versatile – it can be stored and transported relatively easily, and it offers the potential for using fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage and renewable resources, in which we have a particular advantage.

Earlier this year, the federal government invested $50 million in the world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project in Victoria in partnership with the Japanese and Victorian governments and Japanese industry. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Pilot Project will run from 2018 to 2021 to test the supply chain from Australia to Japan.

“As a nation, we are also blessed to have the know-how and drive to develop hydrogen energy export supply chains as well as some of the world’s best scientists conducting cutting edge research into energy," said Canavan.

“It is one of only a few global projects proving supply chain logistics from end to end; in this case, from gasification of brown coal to liquefied hydrogen delivered to Japan.

“I have no doubt this will help pave the way for investment in a new commercial-scale low-carbon hydrogen export industry from the mid-2020s, diversifying our domestic energy and export sectors."

Last month, Minister Canavan attended the inaugural Hydrogen Energy Ministerial meeting in Japan, where attending nations discussed the significant opportunities hydrogen offers to meet future global energy challenges.

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