Over the past decade, the European Union has widely been viewed as being ahead of the renewables curve, and it recently-launched new hydrogen strategy has only served to cement its credentials. The EU has a highly ambitious plan to install 40 gigawatts of electrolyzers within its borders and support the development of another 40 gigawatts of green hydrogen in nearby countries by 2030 that can export to the EU. That is a good 320x the current global installed capacity of 250 MW. But one desert country could soon make the EU’s hydrogen plans seem pedestrian: Australia is single-handedly developing a monster 15,000-megawatt project that will generate hydrogen for export, potentially making the world’s driest continent the ‘Saudi Arabia of renewables.’Australia is single-handedly developing a monster 15,000-megawatt project that will generate hydrogen for export, potentially making the world’s driest continent the ‘Saudi Arabia of renewables.’
However, given the challenges of transporting hydrogen, the first phase of the Kalbarri project at first aims to blend the hydrogen directly with natural gas in order to lower its carbon footprint. Earlier in the year, the UK became one of the first countries to successfully implement grid injection of hydrogen, with the country injecting the gas into its natural gas network to create a 20% hydrogen/natural gas blend–the highest in Europe. A 20% volume blend allows customers to continue using their existing gas appliances and nat gas pipeworks with no need for extra adjustments. According to ITM Power, the company implementing a pilot project at Keele University, a 20% hydrogen blend rolled out across the entire country could save ~6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, or about the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the roads.
Hydrogen fuel cell generators may also become viable alternatives to backup generators that use diesel or natural gas in remote locations where batteries and renewables are not viable due to suboptimal conditions. For instance, currently, hydrogen generators could save more than 40% compared to a solar plant and battery in places like Edinburgh.Australia Looks To Take The Lead In The Hydrogen Boom | OilPrice.com