Australian government provides backing to green gas project

The Australian government will provide half of the funding for a AUS$15 million trial project that will produce hydrogen using solar and wind energy, which could then be used as a ‘green gas’.

Gas pipeline company Jemena plans to build a 500KW electrolyser in Western Sydney that will use solar and wind power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, with most of the hydrogen to then be injected into the local gas network.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said that the project, Australia’s biggest ever trial of this technology, aims to show that renewable hydrogen could be used for energy storage across Australia’s gas network.

“As Australia transitions to renewable energy, hydrogen could play an important role as energy storage and also has the effect of decarbonising the gas network with ‘green’ gas,” said ARENA’s chief executive Darren Miller.

Some of the hydrogen will also be used in a generator to produce power for the grid and for a hydrogen refueling station for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Jemena said storing renewable energy as hydrogen in gas networks could be more efficient than batteries, as hydrogen can be stored over weeks and months, while excess renewable energy can currently only be stored in batteries for minutes or hours.