From pv magazine Australia.
Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy has made another inroad in the global hydrogen market after signing a new agreement with Germany for a joint feasibility study to investigate the supply chain between the two countries on green hydrogen.
Both Australia and Germany are pursuing green hydrogen as a source of energy with enormous potential. The Australian government is now inviting research and industry consortia to partner with German industry on this feasibility study, which will examine production, storage, transport and use of renewable hydrogen. The agreement follows similar deals by Australia with Japan and South Korea.
Germany has committed itself to becoming greenhouse gas neutral by 2050 with the added aim of cuttings its emissions by 55% from its 1990 levels by 2030. To that end, the European giant is hungry for the kind of clean sources of energy Australia is wealthy with beyond comprehensible measure.
Australian minister for trade, tourism and investment, Simon Birmingham, said that these kinds of partnerships “will be critical to further developing our emerging hydrogen industry and Australia’s future as a powerhouse in clean energy exports.”
Similarly, minister for resources Keith Pitt said that clean hydrogen “is a transformational fuel that can be used to power vehicles, generate heat and electricity, and [be used] as a chemical feedstock in major industrial applications. Australia has what it takes to be a world leader in hydrogen production and exports.”
The Western Australian (WA) state government, which is seeking to position itself at the heart of Australia’s future hydrogen economy, has welcomed the ‘joint declaration of intent' between the two countries. WA regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said that “Germany currently imports up to 70% of its energy and is eyeing renewable hydrogen for its future energy needs. Our government has already undertaken significant work over the past two years with the German government and industry to lay the foundations of our fledgling hydrogen industry.”
MacTiernan added that she thought this partnership “will help drive forward our local hydrogen industry and support global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.”
Of course, WA is not alone in its green hydrogen ambitions. Last week, the Green Hydrogen Australia Group received the green light for the first of three large scale green hydrogen plants in Queensland, with the first to be the AU$300 million (US$220 million) Bundaberg Hydrogen Hub.
Australia’s minister for energy and emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, shared news of the international agreement by pointing to Australia’s future hydrogen industry’s potential to “generate 7,600 new jobs by 2050, many in regional Australia, with exports estimated to be worth around AU$11 billion a year in additional GDP.”
Australian research and industry bodies can submit an expression of interest to the feasibility study at GrantConnect.
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“Superpower” is your poor choice of language, not that of optimistic Australian officials. One of the great side benefits of the energy transition is that in future no countries can be energy “superpowers” with political leverage over others. Almost all countries can technically go autonomous, and will trade only if it’s cheaper enough to offset the loss in energy security. Even tiny Monaco could build a floating offshore wind turbine or two, and as it happens the country’s only research expertise is in oceanography.
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