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Labor plans $1.14B spend on hydrogen

22 Jan 2019 4:49 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

LABOR’S National Hydrogen Plan hopes to make Australia a world leader “in the burgeoning hydrogen industry – boosting jobs, exports, fuel security and reducing pollution in our energy, transport and industrial sectors”, the party said today in a pre-election pitch to Queensland voters.

Announced by a hi-vis-clad Bill Shorten, the plan has been roundly applauded by both the petroleum industry's lobby body, APPEA, and some environmental groups that have been critical of projects that link coal and hydrogen.  

The $1.14 billion plan is wide ranging and will use existing LNG infrastructure in Gladstone, with plans to shore up transport and export, provide cleaner energy, and possibly up to 16,000 jobs.  

If it wins the as-yet undeclared election Labor plans to invest $3 million to establish the National Hydrogen Innovation Hub in Gladstone. 

Labor cites an International Energy Agency figure of a global hydrogen market worth US$215 billion by 2022.  

Hydrogen is not naturally occurring on Earth, it has be made from something, and there are two types.  

‘Blue' hydrogen is made from coal, or methane, the latter via a steam methane reforming process already used widely in the US. Hydrogen made from coal creates more carbon dioxide, which must then be dealt with via carbon capture and storage in order to ameliorate emissions.   

Green hydrogen uses electrolysers - which are still expensive equipment - fuelled by renewable power to split water into its component parts.  

"From transforming transport, to providing secure, affordable and clean energy for industry, the potential of an Australian hydrogen industry is massive," Labor's one page outline said.  

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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