Green hydrogen’s credibility was boosted at the recent Smart Energy Summit with the announcement of new founding partners to the Zero-Carbon Certification Scheme, which Australia's Smart Energy Council initiated to verify the origins of renewable hydrogen, green ammonia, and metals processed using green energy.
The Victorian state government has now joined the initial list of eight founding partners announced for the scheme at its launch in December. Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s minister for energy, climate and the environment, expressed her enthusiasm for “the potential for renewable hydrogen.” She named the decarbonization of gas supplies and the powering of green manufacturing as one of the opportunities it provides.
“To support the industry we also need ways to trace and certify where and how hydrogen is made,” she said. “Schemes like this are instrumental to encouraging best practice in production and boosting investor confidence.”
Australia's Power Ledger specializes in using blockchain technology to digitally trace, track and trade units of energy, as well as environmental commodities. At the recent Smart Energy Summit, the company also brought its expertise and support to the Zero-Carbon Certification Scheme.
The Zero-Carbon Certification Scheme will only deal with green hydrogen, said Scott Hamilton, an adviser to the scheme. “We don’t want potential greenwashing or blurring of what is green and what is not,” Hamilton said, adding that customers for high-density green fuel who see the scheme’s brand “will have confidence that they’re getting zero-emissions hydrogen.”
At the opening session of the conference, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set the tone of discussion. “Green hydrogen, that’s the only kind of hydrogen we should be planning for,” he said, while dismissing blue hydrogen – made from fossil fuels but capturing and sequestering the carbon produced in some form – as “BS.”
The Zero-Carbon Certification Scheme is designed to build faith in the green hydrogen ecosystem. Hamilton says it initially focused on the needs of local founding members such as CWP Global, “making sure that they can attract investment to get the Asian Renewable Energy Hub up and running.”
The AREH, which will be built in Western Australia's Pilbara region, will feature 26 GW of wind and solar capacity. About 3 GW of that capacity will be allocated to large energy users in the region, while most of the generation will be dedicated to the large-scale production of clean hydrogen for domestic and export markets. The project is expected to reach a financial investment decision in 2025.
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