A $20 million funding has been formally announced by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in order to drive early stage research and development into hydrogen and the export of renewable energy such as “solar fuels.”
The funding is considered as ARENA’s initial step into the so-called “hydrogen economy.” A lot of experts in the industry believe that hydrogen could become a potential channel for the country to double its productive energy exports, but with solar and other renewable fuels instead of thermal coal.
The RenewEconomy reported that the idea is to use surplus wind and solar and benefit from its continues cost falls and to use electrolysis to change electrical energy into hydrogen.
Ivor Frischknecht, CEO of ARENA, stated, “Australia exports approximately three-quarters of the energy it produces, in the form of coal and gas. Having some of the best solar and wind power resources in the world, Australia could become a superpower in exports of renewable energy, globally, leveraging existing relationships and growing global low carbon energy demand in countries such as Japan, South Korea, and China.”
The report also mentioned that South Australia is now considering the idea of renewable energy exports and utilising the hydrogen economy to polish off excess output from its wind and solar farms.
Investments amounting to $180 million in the hydrogen economy has also been extracted by the ACT as a part of its reverse auction scheme that will provide an equivalent of 100 percent renewable energy for its electricity requirements by the year 2020.
Furthermore, ARENA claims that the “power-to-gas” technology can be utilised within the country and practically “time-shift” surplus renewable energy to be used in the future.
Frischknecht added, “Exporting renewable energy is one of ARENA’s priorities for investments and this RFI illustrates there is great potential. Hydrogen is set to play a much larger role in the renewable energy space not only in Australia but globally as the world moves to a low carbon economy.”
For the full report, visit this website.
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