Hydrogen is the most common chemical in the universe.
It can be produced as a gas or liquid, or made part of other materials, and has many uses such as fuel for transport or heating, a way to store electricity, or a raw material in industrial processes.
When it is produced using renewable energy or processes, hydrogen becomes a way of storing renewable energy for use at a later time when it is needed.
Hydrogen energy can be stored as a gas and even delivered through existing natural gas pipelines. When converted to a liquid or another suitable material, hydrogen can also be transported on trucks and in ships. This means hydrogen can also be exported overseas, effectively making it a tradable energy commodity.
Hydrogen allows us to capture excess electricity from sustainable sources like solar and wind.
Currently, our electricity network lacks the ability to store excess energy during times when supply surpasses demand. Solar panels will create an excess of electricity on days with strong sunshine. This is when hydrogen, as an efficient store of energy, comes in. Instead of just ignoring this clean energy, we can use the excess electricity to produce hydrogen – storing the over-supply of energy for future use.
Hydrogen can store energy in greater capacities over longer periods than conventional lithium batteries, thus potentially dealing with seasonal challenges of our power generation.
Furthermore, hydrogen can be used in conjunction with fuel cells as an alternative to diesel generators and as off-grid back-up power solutions.
When hydrogen and oxygen from air combine fuel cells can generate electricity, allowing hydrogen to be a source of power to anything from electric vehicles to manufacturing.
ZERO EMISSION TRANSPORT
London already fuels some of its famous double decker buses on hydrogen and South Korea is replacing 26,000 natural gas buses with hydrogen buses. California has dozens of retail hydrogen fuelling stations. Audi, Toyota, GM, Mercedes, Honda and many more vehicle manufacturers are producing hydrogen powered electric vehicles.
Hydrogen powered electric vehicles are called FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles). The fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity needed to power the vehicle, with the only emission being water vapour. FCEV’s have the advantages of electric vehicles, with similar range and comparable refuelling times to petrol and diesel vehicles.
With high energy density, more energy can be stored on-board a vehicle to power heavy vehicles like buses, trucks, trains, and boats.
AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL HYDROGEN STRATEGY
The development of our hydrogen resources could enhance Australia’s energy security, create Australian jobs and build an export industry valued in the billions. We have all the pieces needed to create this new industry and supply clean hydrogen to the world: the energy resources, expertise, and infrastructure.
Click here to learn more about Australia’s vision for a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry.