Renewable energy and hydrogen production will power South Australia’s energy future.
That’s according to the SA Government, which today released its ‘Hydrogen Roadmap’.
The Roadmap is designed to accelerate investment in hydrogen infrastructure as well as technologies in the state.
Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources, such as wind or solar, through a process called electrolysis.
Surplus electricity from renewable generators is used in an electrolyser to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is used in a hydrogen fuel cell to power vehicles. In effect, it means Australia’s solar power can be bottled up and exported across the globe.
Towards a zero carbon economy state
The Roadmap shows how the state’s renewable energy assets can be used to attract international investment in hydrogen production.
The Government says the Roadmap will accelerate South Australia’s transition to a zero carbon economy.
Developed in consultation with industry, the Roadmap will in addition help drive local demand for hydrogen in the transport and energy sectors.
It will also target overseas export markets, and establish South Australia as a test-bed for hydrogen technology.
Hydrogen and renewables: a perfect match
In tandem with the release of the Roadmap today, the Government pledged to:
- Call for hydrogen infrastructure proposals under the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund;
- Call for tenders to supply at least six hydrogen-cell buses for Adelaide along with supporting infrastructure; and
- Release an interactive map to provide investors and project developers with a tool to identify hydrogen infrastructure sites.
SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said hydrogen also offers an opportunity to create a new industry in South Australia.
“If we move now, South Australia can lead the nation in the transition to a clean, safe and sustainable hydrogen economy,” he said.
Buses fuelled by hydrogen within two years
According to Mr Koutsantonis, Adelaide commuters will also be able to ride on hydrogen-powered buses using locally-produced fuel within two years.
“Within a decade, South Australian motorists should be able to drive from Ceduna to Mt Gambier in a hydrogen-fuelled vehicle, topping up at a state-wide network of refuelling stations,” he added.
Supporting the Roadmap, Siemens Australia and NZ CEO Jeff Connolly said hydrogen could be made with excess energy capacity driven by renewables.
“If Australia can find a way to export renewable energy, then we can build on our coal and gas export businesses and maintain our role well into the future as a regional energy export superpower.”