Technology May 05

Australia to build its first dual hydrogen-gas power plant

The A$83-million project is vital infrastructure needed to provide electricity capacity to replace a coal-fired power station, officials say

Australia to build its first dual hydrogen-gas power plant
The costs of renewable derived hydrogen are going to fall dramatically, driven by economies of scale and the ever falling costs of renewables. File photo by Reuters.

(ATF) The Australian state of New South Wales is set to be the site of the country’s first dual hydrogen-gas power plant, as the country’s most populous state intensifies its switch to renewable energy.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said this week the A$83-million project on the edge of Lake Illawarra south of Wollongong is vital infrastructure needed to provide electricity capacity to replace the coal-fired Liddell Power Station.

“Delivering enough electricity to power around 150,000 homes at times of peak demand, the project is expected to deliver a $300-million boost to the economy and support about 250 jobs during construction,” Barilaro said. 

“NSW has an enormous opportunity to lead the world in the production of green hydrogen. Fast-tracking new projects like these will ensure we continue to remain at the forefront of developing new technology while supporting our existing industries.” 

EXPORT POTENTIAL

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the Tallawarra B project would help secure power generation and capitalise on an export industry that is predicted to be worth A$1.7 billion annually by 2030. 

“As we recover from the pandemic, embracing emerging industries will help recharge our economy by creating new jobs and opening up new opportunities that will secure our economic prosperity well into the future,” Perrottet said. 

“Hydrogen is quickly emerging as a major economic opportunity.” 

Green hydrogen is a cheap, reliable type of energy that is made using 100% renewable sources.

“Renewable energy can and will decarbonise power generation and hydrogen will be one of the most viable solutions, for decarbonisation,” Simon Webber, lead portfolio manager at Schroders, said.

He said renewable hydrogen is a lot more expensive than fossil fuel hydrogen. “However, this is expected to change, and by 2030 renewable hydrogen should cross over and become the cheapest method of production.”

Webber said the costs of renewable derived hydrogen are going to fall dramatically, driven by economies of scale and the ever falling costs of renewables,

“However, if hydrogen fulfils its potential in these new end markets of heating, industrial, transportation and energy storage, the production and consumption of hydrogen volumes would need to expand 7-10 times current levels.”

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Hydrogen energy Australia Lake Illawarra New South Wales new power plant Tallawarra B