Hydrogen to make Australia a renewable power-house

Leading economist Professor Ross Garnaut and two government renewable energy agencies are championing the use of hydrogen to exploit Australia’s massive solar and wind resources.

They say hydrogen produce from renewable energy would make Australia a renewable energy powerhouse, utilising huge arrays of solar panels, and creating an export industry of “solar fuels” to northern Asia that would rival the coal and gas export industries.

At a conference in Sydney this week, Professor Garnaut – who was the Labor government advisor on climate change – also said the use of zero emissions hydrogen could also attract energy intensive industries to Australia to use cheap renewable energy, making Australia a super-power” of the global low-carbon economy.

“Australia has more opportunities in the low-carbon future than in the fossil fuels of the past,” he told the 6th World Hydrogen Technologies Convention.

“Australia will be the world’s lowest cost source of renewable energy …. and Australia will become the logical location for energy intensive industries.”

But the vision doesn’t stop there. Some advocates are talking of vast solar arrays – of the scale of tens of gigawatts (yes, gigawatts) – that would use electrolysis to convert solar power into hydrogen, and have this shipped to Japan in the form of ammonia. This would rival the scale of the coal and LNG export industries.

Others talk of individual systems that would allow households to convert the excess power from their rooftop solar PV arrays into hydrogen, for use in their hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Renew Economy: Giles Parkinson: 14 October 2015

CEFC’s Yates says solar-to-hydrogen fuel cheaper than petrol in regions

Clean Energy Finance Corporation chief executive Oliver Yates s believes that right now solar-to-hydrogen fuels in regional Australia would be cheaper at the pump than petrol. All that is missing are the hydrogen fuel cell cars and a refuelling network.

Yates said that an array of solar panels, could use electrolysis to transform water and electricity into hydrogen fuel and pure oxygen.  This might be deliver fuel at around $1.25 a litre. In areas such as Mt Isa, where fuel had to be trucked vast distances, petrol prices were above $1.40. In other areas, even more.

Renew Economy: Giles Parkinson on 14 October 2015

Key Words: Climate Change, renewables, economics, technology
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