South Australia eyes green hydrogen-powered future

Hydrogen molecules on green background (devonport)
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A pathway for South Australia’s transition to a zero-emission lower-cost energy future has been unveiled, with South Australians invited to have their say through the government’s Energy Transition green paper, which has been released for public consultation.

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The Green Paper, a document intended to stimulate broad discussion to inform a comprehensive long-term policy statement, identifies various challenges impacting South Australia’s use of energy, both current and emerging, and the opportunities that successfully navigating these challenges can represent for the state as we transition to a net-zero emissions future.

The release of the Green Paper comes as that future is glimpsed with Australia’s first Hydrogen Park in the Tonsley Innovation District set to expand its reach.

An additional 3000 homes and businesses across Mitchell Park, Clovelly Park and parts of Marion are now powered by a blended natural and hydrogen gas network. The new customers don’t need to take any action to connect to greener gas as it is supplied to properties connected to existing infrastructure.

Part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), the $14.5 million renewable hydrogen production facility is Australia’s largest renewable gas project and a market leader in decarbonisation of Australia’s gas supply.

The launch of the project saw 700 homes receiving a blend of 5% renewable hydrogen and natural gas delivered through the existing gas network. Hydrogen Park SA continues to consult and communicate with the local community about the benefits of renewable hydrogen.

Hydrogen Park SA also provides green hydrogen to industry in the form of tube trailers, long storage tubes on the back of semi-trailers, from its Tonsley facility.

The SA Government sees hydrogen power as an integral component of the state’s energy transition, which is why we’re investing $593 million in a first-of-its-kind green hydrogen power facility.

The Hydrogen Jobs Plan will deliver ‘firming services’ to South Australian renewable generation facilities such as wind and solar farms, and ensure the reduced firming costs are passed on to South Australian energy users.

The Green Paper explores the opportunities and challenges for the state’s energy transition across government, industry and community sectors. It highlights the dramatic transformation to date of South Australia’s energy sector, from a coal and gas-reliant state at the turn of the century to one powered by more than 70% renewables.

South Australian MP Tom Koutsantonis said, “We want to co-design an energy strategy through early and meaningful engagement with the people who produce it, the people who use it and the people who regulate it.

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“We are at the forefront of renewable energy generation and we have a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Hydrogen has a major role to play in our state’s energy mix and we welcome creative ways to deliver greener energy.”

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