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Rise of renewable hydrogen examined at conference

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Wednesday, 5. September 2018 - 16:45

Leading scientists, industry and government gathered in Perth to discuss the future for renewable hydrogen in Western Australia.

The Renewable Hydrogen Conference, hosted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), attracted about 350 delegates to discuss opportunities to grow the emerging renewable hydrogen industry in regional WA. 

Department Director General Ralph Addis said renewable hydrogen was building momentum as a clean energy and transport option.

“Presentations by leaders in local, national, and international industry and government showed a growing global appetite for renewable hydrogen as economies move to reduce carbon emissions,” Mr Addis said.

“The comparative advantages of Western Australia are clear, including large-scale availability and sustainability of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, vast areas of undeveloped land, and strong export capability and experience.

“Gains in technology to improve storage methods and reduce costs are contributing to hydrogen emerging as a competitive energy option.”

Mr Addis said representatives from the gas industry spoke to their vision for hydrogen as a part of their future business models, on the back of increasing demand from export markets.

The new era of clean energy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were also on display - Toyota’s ‘Mirai’ and Hyundai’s ‘NEXO’.

The practical applications of hydrogen were evident with Woodside providing ice-creams cooled using hydrogen power and sausages cooked on a hydrogen-powered barbeque. Delegates could charge their phones at a hydrogen-powered station and the Conference closed out with music via a hydrogen-fuelled DJ deck.

“This conference has highlighted that cooperation across industry, science and government will be key to taking these opportunities forward,” Mr Addis said.

“DPIRD will provide support to the Renewable Hydrogen Council which will be established and report back to Government by early next year.”

Renewable Hydrogen Conference
Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel and Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan with the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on display, Hyundai’s NEXO and Toyota’s Mirai, at the Renewable Hydrogen Conference.

Hydrogen powered BBQ
Looking over the hydrogen powered barbeque at the Renewable Hydrogen Conference are Woodside Head of Commercialisation Shannon O’Rourke, DPIRD Energy Futures Manager Amy Tait, Woodside Executive Vice President Exploration and Chief Technology Officer Shaun Gregory and DPIRD Director General Ralph Addis, with Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre chef Kevin McEwan (far left).

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