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What’s hydrogen’s place for utilities as part of a future energy system and in a net zero future?

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There are still challenges to be overcome when it comes to the role of hydrogen in Australia’s energy mix. Yet many utilities are investing to explore the potential as a key component of a net zero future. With the right investments and policies, hydrogen could play a major role in helping the sector sustainably transition. The debate is likely to continue as stakeholders work to address challenges and reap benefits of this promising energy source.

We ask industry experts Joanna Kay, Zero Carbon Hydrogen Australia and Kristin Raman of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group for their thoughts and insights.

Joanna Kay - Hydrogen quote 1

 

How does hydrogen overcome the “too expensive, too energy-intensive” narrative to find its place with utilities in a net zero future?

 

“Hydrogen’s role in a net-zero future hinges on dispelling the ‘too expensive, too energy-intensive’ narrative. Advances in electrolysis and green hydrogen production reduce costs, while growing renewables eases energy intensity. Positioning renewable hydrogen as an energy transition linchpin is crucial. Neglecting it poses risks – economic repercussions, job losses, and missed climate action opportunities.

The upfront hydrogen investment is small compared to long-term inaction costs. It’s a strategic imperative – an investment in our future, combating climate change, safeguarding jobs, and fortifying economic resilience”.

 

 

What do utilities and the “electrification of everything” lobby need to know to accept hydrogen as an important part of a future energy system?

 

“The gas network is ready for renewable gas today. We are seeing blended natural and renewable gases such as hydrogen and biomethane being supplied to customers across Australia. Recent comments from the Australian Energy Market Operator highlighted the need for gas to back-up the renewable energy transition. It’s clear from predicted supply shortfalls that the electricity sector cannot transition on its own and that many customers rely on gas supplied by existing infrastructure.

Decarbonisation is a big challenge. Focussing on decarbonisation rather than electrification can help the country to achieve emissions reductions in a reliable, secure and cost effective way.  It is not about one technology versus the other, rather how they can work together. For example; renewable hydrogen is an excellent compliment to electricity  using excess renewables– which currently goes to waste – to be converted to renewable gas and stored for use later.”

 

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You can also hear from Joanna and Kristin at our exhibition and summit next 7 – 8 May! Register free online and use the code SUMMIT50 to save 50% on your delegate pass (offer ends 31 December). 

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