There is a lot of “hype” around Hydrogen across every platform available for the public to read – but what do you really know about it ?
Because hydrogen does not exist freely in nature and can only be produced from other energy sources, it is known as an energy carrier. When used in the energy sector, hydrogen refers to a simple molecule of two hydrogen atoms: H2. It can be stored, and transported, take many forms, be used in liquid and gas states, and is highly versatile.
When hydrogen is produced from a green energy source like solar or wind, it has no emissions, with water and oxygen being the only by-products.
How does it become energy?
As hydrogen on its own does not exist on Earth, it can be created through water electrolysis. Applying an electric current from a renewable source to the water atom (H2O) splits the atom into Oxygen (O2) and Hydrogen(H2).
That hydrogen is then captured in a fuel cell or used directly to produce electricity during low power production from the power generation or in periods of peak energy demand. 1
While large-scale implementation of green hydrogen production is not yet available in Australia, there are over 80 pilot, demonstration and small-scale projects in various stages of operation. 2
Hydrogen in Australia
Credit – Clean Energy Council 3
The Australian Government has prioritised hydrogen as one of the central pillars of its Technology Investment Roadmap, with a target of producing hydrogen for under $2 per kilogram (excluding the cost of storage and transportation), which would make it competitive with fossil-fuel-based hydrogen.
As part of this effort, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) established the $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round to support two or more large-scale (10 MW+) renewable hydrogen projects across the nation.
Additionally, most state and territory governments have also embraced the hydrogen opportunity, making substantial strategic investments to establish the infrastructure to create hydrogen export industries.
Boundary Power and our Hydrogen future
In February 2022, we secured funding through the Victorian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund to deliver a demonstration SAPS plant that will convert solar power into hydrogen.
Our award-winning Solar Qube® currently features a small diesel generator for backup generation, which will be replaced by a Hydrogen Energy Storage System (HESS) creating a 100% renewable Hydrogen SAPS, the first of its kind in Australia.
This demonstration project is anticipated to be online by mid 2023.