Queensland backs hydrogen research for renewable fuel source

Hydrogen images (Western Green Energy Hub)

The Queensland Government has allocated $750,000 in next month’s State Budget to support hydrogen research.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding would support the investigation of producing and supplying hydrogen at a competitive price to alternative energy sources.

The Premier made her announcement as part of her trade mission to Japan, a world leader in the early stage investigation of hydrogen energy.

“Japanese companies are pursuing a number of different technologies in an effort to bring hydrogen to market as a credible alternate source of renewable fuel,” she said.

“As this technological process unfolds, Queensland has the raw materials that can put us at the front of an energy revolution.

“Now is the time to position Queensland to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The most common of all elements, hydrogen is widely considered to be a serious contender as a renewable fuel source.

Ms Palaszczuk said a Queensland hydrogen industry could further entrench the state’s dominance as a supplier of energy to domestic and international markets.

“This funding will support early stage investigation of demonstration projects, assisting my government to identify the feasibility of producing hydrogen in this state at a competitive price to natural gas and other energy sources,” she said.

Hydrogen is made from natural gas via a process called steam reforming. However, significant focus is now on other methods to produce renewable hydrogen from solar power and renewable organic sources such as green waste.

With the growth of renewable energy generation in Queensland, there is an opportunity to turn some of this energy into hydrogen for local and international markets.

It can be used as a fuel source or raw material in a variety of applications from industrial and chemical manufacturing to powering cars, buses and trucks to offset carbon emissions.

In the past decade, the Japanese Government has invested more than US$12 billion in hydrogen research and development and is pursuing hydrogen as a core element of its energy solution.

“Queensland is well placed for hydrogen production with access to feedstock such as water and solar power, existing gas pipeline infrastructure, access to export ports and access to domestic and international markets,” the Premier said.

“A competitive Queensland-based hydrogen industry could introduce a new energy option for our manufacturing firms and add stability to the state’s electricity grid due to various hydrogen applications in grid-scale storage and remote or off-grid power generation.”