South Australia is in the running to house a $70 million hydrogen export hub, as part of the federal government’s $1.9 billion clean energy investment package to be announced on Thursday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce the major investment into new and emerging technologies which aims to lower emissions, create jobs, cut household costs and improve supply reliability.
Under the scheme, $70.2 million will be awarded to set up the hydrogen export hub — something South Australia has already started.
SA Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the nation’s largest hydrogen processing plant was being built at Tonsley, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.
He said countries overseas — particularly South Korea and Japan — had already legislated for themselves to consume hydrogen energy in their ship building and vehicle manufacturing in future but could not produce green hydrogen.
Green hydrogen is when renewable, regenerated electricity is used to make hydrogen out of water.
“We won’t be (producing greenhouse gases during the manufacturing process). That’s the difference between green and brown hydrogen,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said on ABC Radio Adelaide.
“We’re blessed with an abundance of sun and wind generation opportunities in SA …. We could use that abundant renewable energy to create green hydrogen — so sun and wind applied to water to separate it out into hydrogen and oxygen.
“It’s a completely clean process and a massive export opportunity but also to use it and clean our own industries up.”
Mr van Holst Pellekaan said the state was well placed with renewable energy and had seaboard export opportunities established, such as at Port Bonython in the Upper Spencer Gulf region.
“That’s a tremendous facility that has space capacity. That might be exactly the right place in Australia to start exporting hydrogen,” he said.
“SA has been leading the country for a few years now with regards to hydrogen … It’s recognised by the federal government and was highlighted by chief scientist Professor Alan Finkel in his national report and we’re determined to keep moving.
“Gas will be with us for quite a while yet but we’re well and truly into the transition away from fossil fuels into more renewable energy.”
The $1.9 billion clean energy investment package will also see a $50 million investment to pilot carbon capture projects to help cut emissions; $52.2 million contributed to increase the energy productivity of homes and businesses; and $95.4 million for a Technology Co-Investment Fund to support agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport businesses adopt technologies to reduce emissions.
Originally published as SA in race for $70m hydrogen export hub