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Green hydrogen "nirvana": Coleman

23 Sep 2020 11:43 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

WOODSIDE Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman declared yesterday that the market needed to start preparing for the future hydrogen economy, noting the cost competitiveness of green hydrogen was likely to be reached within the next decade.

Speaking about the future of energy at Business News's leadership breakfast at the Perth Convention Centre, Coleman noted despite the buzz around hydrogen, there was still no market for it yet, and even when it comes there will still be challenges in transporting it. 

However he said the company's trade partners, including Japan and Korea were rapidly creating the market for the gas, similarly to how the Japanese established the LNG market. 

He noted hydrogen produced using steam-methane reforming was well known and could be done at scale, while the potential for green hydrogen, produced via electrolysis, was great. 

"This is nirvana, it's making it from water," he said. 

"It's great but there's nothing at scale, everything is bespoke, every electrolyser is made for the application that it's put into, so there's no massive scale and so there's no cost reduction," he said. 

He referred to the EU's plans to build 6GW of green hydrogen electrolysers by 2024 which would help bring costs down, but said the true tipping point for electrolysers to be competitive would be when China starts to produce them at scale. 

"It's going to be ten years in the coming, and we need to start now," he said.

"The technology is there, we know what the cost curves are like, we know what we need to do in the market, and there's a solution there, but you've got to manage the energy input with the production, and then you've got to distribute the darn stuff" he said. 

Woodside has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Gas Corporation to study the feasibility of a green hydrogen export project, and is also on the Hydrogen Council's steering committee. 

The Korean government aims to build 100 hydrogen refuelling stations in the country over the next four years. 

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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