Clean Energy Regulator launches hydrogen certification scheme trial

Rendered image of a hydrogen molecule (hydrogen certification scheme)
Image: Shutterstock

The Clean Energy Regulator is commencing trials for a hydrogen Guarantee of Origin (GO) certification scheme to position Australia as a global player in the renewable hydrogen industry.

The GO scheme is a priority under the National Hydrogen Strategy which envisions Australia becoming a major hydrogen exporter and producer by 2030. Developing hydrogen technology is a cornerstone of the Australia Government’s plan to reach net zero by 2050.

Over the next 18 months, the Clean Energy Regulator and Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources will together trial a hydrogen GO scheme to measure and track emissions from hydrogen production, as well as the type of technology and energy source used to manufacture it.

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Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the universe and produces only water when used in a fuel cell. It can be produced from a variety of resources like renewable electricity, gas, biomass and coal. It can be used to power vehicles, make products such as fertilisers and plastics, generate electricity and heat. Hydrogen could also be used in steel production in place of metallurgical coal.

Clean Energy Regulator chair David Parker said Australia was leading the way in developing emissions accounting approaches for GO certificates for hydrogen produced from renewable electricity and from natural gas and coal gasification with carbon capture and storage.

“The GO scheme will allow consumers to choose products based on the hydrogen’s carbon emission intensity. GO certificates will follow the hydrogen supply chain, providing transparent information to consumers on the carbon intensity of products they purchase,” he said.

“Trial participants will help develop emission accounting approaches suited to their production techniques, giving industry and supply chain partners confidence in the GO scheme and encouraging investment in hydrogen projects.”

Hydrogen’s flexibility means it can be stored for future use and can be transported in trucks and ships, offering Australia exciting domestic and export opportunities.

Parker said Australia was working with other countries through the International Partnership on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy to design a world class assurance system trusted by international trading partners and domestic supply chains.

“The GO trials will play a significant role in determining international standards for measuring carbon emissions from hydrogen production and establish Australia as a global player in the emerging hydrogen industry for years to come.

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“We expect the GO scheme to evolve to guarantee the origin of a range of low emission products, so these trials are an important step in reducing Australia and our trading partner’s emissions,” he said.

The Clean Energy Regulator’s GO scheme trials will collect and verify data to calculate the gross and net carbon intensity of hydrogen and related products. The trials will inform work by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources on policy design and legislation to support the industry’s development.

The government has invested $1.2 billion into building a national hydrogen industry, with $9.7 million committed to establishing the GO scheme.