Renewable gas target could supercharge hydrogen

Australia’s potential to be a global hydrogen leader, recognised in the 2022 State of Hydrogen report, could be supercharged with the introduction of a national renewable gas target, Energy Networks Australia Acting CEO Garth Crawford said today.

Mr Crawford said such a target could encourage more investment and help bring down the cost of hydrogen production, helping secure Australia’s future as a domestic and international hydrogen producer and exporter.

“It was pleasing to see recognition in the report of the progress and contribution gas networks are making to decarbonise,” he said

“Developing a hydrogen industry is not just about exports. To maintain customer choice and diversity of energy supply for homes and businesses as we decarbonise, Australia must invest in a strong renewable gas industry that includes hydrogen and biomethane.

“Gas networks throughout Australia are undertaking projects that are already delivering renewable gas blends to customers, with ambitions to provide 100 per cent hydrogen or biomethane to homes by 2050 at the latest.”

Mr Crawford said it was important that all states and territories were on board with efforts to decarbonise gas. The scale of the energy transition and ambitious emissions reductions demanded options were kept open.

“A renewable electricity system supported by renewable gas will give us continued diversity of energy supply and the most secure, reliable energy system so we can ride through any droughts in renewable electricity generation,” he said.

“We need more support to encourage investment and further development of a renewable gas industry.

“Our nation’s efforts to decarbonise electricity have had almost 20 years of renewable energy targets and subsides to stimulate the market and support innovation. A renewable gas would assist the renewable gas sector achieve the same.”

Some examples of renewable gas blending projects across Australia are: