Australia launches hydrogen test facility

Australia’s first test facility for hydrogen gas has opened in Canberra.

Evoenergy and the Canberra Institute of Technology have partnered to open the Hydrogen Test Facility, with an aim to understanding how hydrogen gas could be used in the future to power homes using the existing natural gas network.

The test facility will assess the fuel’s compatibility with existing materials, equipment, appliances and transmission systems.

Speaking at the launch in Canberra, Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said a zero-emission fuel like hydrogen was a great opportunity for domestic the energy industry.

“Hydrogen is carbon-free and can be produced from excess renewable energy, for example during sunny and windy days when generation is high and demand is low,” he said.

“This offers a stable, carbon-free energy resource that can be stored for use on demand.

“We know from our work with the CSIRO on the 2018 National Hydrogen Roadmap that hydrogen represents significant and exciting opportunities for Australia, well beyond its potential as an export fuel.”

Mr Dillon said hydrogen could eventually be used for all kinds of energy needs and the county’s existing gas networks could help facilitate this.

“Perhaps best of all, the sophisticated, intricate infrastructure needed for hydrogen technology already exists for us in Australia – our natural gas networks,” he said.

“Most of Australia’s gas distribution networks are compatible with hydrogen and could deliver better outcomes for Australian households and businesses, the environment and the economy.”

In August, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel called for the development of hydrogen, saying it could contribute more than $1 billion to the economy by 2030 under the right circumstances.

Since then, the resource has been rapidly gaining traction within the country, with projects including Jemena’s Project H2GO and the CSIRO and Fortescue-backed membrane technology venture starting development.

For more information visit the Evoenergy website.

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