Climate Action

Australia invests in hydrogen project for clean energy

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced funding to produce renewable hydrogen from wind and solar power.

  • 22 October 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced funding to produce renewable hydrogen from wind and solar power.

On behalf of the Government, ARENA has invested $7.5 million in funding for Jemena to build a demonstration electrolyser at its facility in Sydney.

Project H2GO will connect to Jemena’s existing gas network which delivers gas to 1.3 million people in New South Wales.

The trial will ensure that homes and businesses in Australia will run on clean green energy.

Hydrogen can be safely added to the natural gas mains at concentrations of up to 10 per cent without affecting pipelines, applications or regulations.

The two-year trial will convert solar and wind power into renewable hydrogen by electrolysis. This is the process where electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The majority of the hydrogen produced will be injected into the local gas network for domestic use and demonstrate the potential for renewable hydrogen storage in Australia’s gas network.

A percentage of the hydrogen will be used via a gas energy generator for electricity generation back into the grid. The remaining hydrogen will be stored for use in an onsite Hydrogen Refuelling Station for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Darren Miller, ARENA CEO, said: “As Australia transitions to renewable energy, hydrogen could play an important role as energy storage and also has the effect of decarbonising the gas network with ‘green’ gas.”

The trial will start by powering 250 homes in Sydney, if successful ARENA and Jemena will look to expand it across the New South Wales network.

Frank Tudor, Managing Director at Jemena, said: “In the future Australians will need to decide what to do with excess renewable energy on very windy or very sunny days. Jemena’s Project H2GO will demonstrate how existing gas pipeline technology can store excess renewable energy for weeks and months, making it more efficient than batteries which can only store excess renewable energy for minutes or hours.”

 

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