November 24, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 166
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In episode 166, The International Renewable Energy Agency talks hydrogen priorities. And Australia is back in the hydrogen news with a massive hub in Queensland. All this on today's hydrogen podcast.
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The International Renewable Energy Agency talks hydrogen priorities. And Australia is back in the hydrogen news with a massive hub in Queensland. All this on today's hydrogen podcast.
So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.
In an article from msn.com Anmar Frangoul writes indiscriminate use of hydrogen could slow the energy transition, hydrogen use by the g7 could jump by four to seven times by the middle of this century compared to 2020, in order to, quote satisfy the needs of a net zero emissions system. This according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency, and afford to the report IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said it had quote, become clear that hydrogen must play a key role in the energy transition if the world is to meet the one and a half degrees Celsius target of the Paris Agreement. Despite this assertion, IRENA analysis, which was published on Wednesday during the CO p 27. Climate Change Summit in Egypt paints a complex overall picture that will require a delicate balancing act going forward. Among other things, it noted that despite hydrogens great potential, it must be kept in mind that its production, transport and conversion require energy, as well as a significant investment.
The report continues by saying indiscriminate use of hydrogen could therefore slow down the energy transition, and this calls for priority setting and policymaking. The first of these priorities IRENA said related to the decarbonisation of existing hydrogen applications, the second Senator around using hydrogen and quote hard to abate applications like aviation, steel shipping and chemicals. The energy transition can broadly be seen as a shift away from hydrocarbons to a system dominated by renewables. Given that it depends on a multitude of factors from technology and finance to international cooperation. How the transition pans out remains to be seen. A spokesperson for hydrogen Europe and Industry Association told CNBC that Irina was quote, correct that the deployment of large scale infrastructure and energy production require large scale investments, and it is true that it requires energy to produce store and transport hydrogen. The spokesperson said hydrogen Europe agreed that any development of hydrogen related projects should be done responsibly, and that certain use of applications should be prioritized over others. They also added that on how to prioritize we believe this should be done as much as possible through market instruments that properly value co2 emission savings and other aspects like security of supply so that consumers can make informed choices.
They also set a top down dogmatic restriction of certain sectors, such as hydrogen for heating it should be avoided. Described by the International Energy Agency as a versatile energy carrier. Hydrogen has a diverse range of applications that can be deployed in a wide range of industries. It can be produced in a number of ways. Also, one method includes electrolysis with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electricity used in this process comes from any renewable source, such as wind or solar, then some call it green or renewable hydrogen. Today, the vast majority of hydrogen generation is based on hydrocarbons. And a statement published alongside its report, IRENA it said the G sevens goal of net zero emissions, by the middle of this century would quote, require a significant deployment of green hydrogen. Over the past few years, major economies and businesses have looked to tap into the emerging green hydrogen sector, in a bid to decarbonize the way sectors integral to modern life operate during a roundtable discussion at COP 27. Last week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described green hydrogen as quote one of the most important technologies for Climate Neutral world. Scholz also added.
Green hydrogen is the key to decarbonizing our economies, especially for hard to electrify sectors, such as steel production, the chemical industry, heavy shipping and aviation. He also acknowledged that a significant amount of work was needed for the sector to mature. He also said of course, as green hydrogen is still an infant industry, its production is currently too cost intensive compared to hydrocarbons. There's also a chicken and egg dilemma of supply and demand or market actors block each other, waiting for the other to move. Also appearing on the panel was Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy, who said hydrogen will be indispensable for the decarbonisation of industry. He also added, the question is for us now, how do we get there in a world which is still driven in terms of business by hydrocarbons, and finish by saying, so it requires an extra effort to make green hydrogen projects work? Okay, so another great article by Anmar Frangoul, discussing the importance of developing good business strategy around hydrogen as an emerging economy. The study from IRENA is on the right track by looking at different priorities for utilizing hydrogen, home heat, obviously being at the back end of that priority list. And we've known for some time that the hard to abate sectors need to be focused.
But I really think it's time to start fine tuning that list. Which of those industries that need it the most? And how can we start high grading individual targets within each industry, and start targeting strategically, that list of hydrogen users, but not just with hydrogen, but also hydrogen byproducts, like solid carbon and synthetic fuels. But the one thing that I'm still not hearing from this IRENA report is the fact that we really do need to be focused in on carbon intensity and not what color the hydrogen is. And because Europe is so focused on green hydrogen, I think a lot of money from Europe is going to find its way into the US where carbon intensity is the main focus. Now I'm not saying that the US has everything figured out when it comes to the hydrogen value chain. And there's still a lot of work to do, both in manufacturing transportation and utilization of hydrogen, but there does seem to be less animosity between the competing viewpoints of electrolytic hydrogen versus hydrocarbon derived hydrogen.
Next, in a press release on November 14, Game Changing North Queensland Super Hub to power green hydrogen with wind and solar, Northwest Queensland is set to become home to one of the state's largest ever renewable energy projects with Fortescue future industries and wind lab to partner on a Super Hub, which could generate more than 10 gigawatts of wind and solar power and underpin the industrial scale production of green hydrogen from purpose built facilities within Queensland. Green hydrogen has been highlighted as a solution for decarbonisation across a range of sectors including transport, industrial and energy storage. According to research conducted for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Demand for hydrogen exported from Australia could be over 3 million tonnes per year by 2040, injecting up to $10 billion dollars into the economy annually. However, industrial scale green hydrogen or hydrogen produced from renewable energy has been constrained by the lack of renewable supply to power the process of extracting hydrogen from water through electrification. FFI CEO Mark Hutchinson said the opportunity was a game changer for Queensland that will accelerate decarbonisation of the grid and help make green hydrogen a reality at an industrial scale. He says Australia's natural resources including its wind, sun and landmass, are unrivaled in terms of their potential for the production of green energy, green hydrogen in particular, and that is no truer than in the Sunshine State. He continues by saying this about ensuring Queensland and Australia are in the best possible position to play a leading role in the production and supply of green hydrogen globally.
He also says for the first time the North Queensland Super Hub will provide the quantity of renewable energy we need to support large scale green hydrogen production right here in Queensland. The environmental and economic opportunities that can stem from this are significant, both in terms of lowering emissions and reducing reliance on hydrocarbons and in terms of local job creation. FFI will partner with leading renewables developer wind lab on the North Queensland Super Hub leveraging wind labs decades long presence in the region including developing an operating Kennedy energy Park, a world first hybrid wind, solar and battery storage facility near Hughenden. The first stage of the proposed plan Project includes the 800 megawatt prairie wind farm and the 1000 megawatt Wongalee project and is currently in detailed planning, with land agreements in place and the application for development approval for the prairie wind farm plan for submission in the coming months. Subject to approvals.
Construction on the first stage is expected to commence in 2025, with the projects anticipated to begin to produce power by 2027. energy generated from the project stands to produce green hydrogen, as well as feed renewable power to the grid. The announcement comes on the back of FFI'S investment and establishing the world's largest electrolyzer manufacturing facility in Gladstone. Okay, so it's great to have some Australian news come back in. And it's definitely big news if they're looking at creating a ten gigawatt system. And now with all of that hydrogen being developed, I am curious to know just how much of that is going to be slated for export. I'm also curious to know where the funding for this hub will be coming from.
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