Hydrogen offers potential for new export industry

While the Australian energy market currently faces unprecedented challenges, technology is creating significant opportunities for the industry.

We are seeing advancements in renewably produced fuels potentially opening up both domestic and international markets to Australia at a time when there is great uncertainty about the future of energy supply and energy security.

Governments the world over are working towards reducing dependence on fossil fuels, with major economic groups such as the G7 committing to phase out all fossil fuel usage by 2100.

The urgency to implement alternative sources of power is intensifying as populations grow. For example, in the 20th century, global population rose from 1.6 billion people to 6.1 billion. Concurrently, carbon emissions grew twelve fold.

With the new energy solutions deployed today, we are witnessing a dramatic uptake of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and thermal.

A local example is the construction of 17 major wind farms developed in South Australia since 2003 with numerous new renewable energy projects planned over the next 12 to 24 months.

The implementation of such large-scale renewable energy projects represents part of the solution, but also creates some serious challenges for the Australian energy market. There are two key reasons why the energy market is so challenged.

Firstly, there is the well documented concern that renewable energy is volatile, not producing enough electricity when conditions are unfavourable, commonly during peak hours.

There are also concerns that at certain times there is too much energy produced, which the energy system cannot absorb – resulting in this excess energy being wasted.

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