Hydrogen potential for zero emissions future


Released 04/12/2018

As the ACT looks to achieve its world-leading target of zero net emissions by 2045, renewable hydrogen gas could have the potential as a zero emissions replacement for natural gas, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said today.

“In response to climate change, we need to phase out the use of natural gas, which is a highly polluting fossil fuel. Hydrogen can be a renewable, zero-emissions gas source and we want to understand whether, and how, it can be viably used to decarbonise the gas network,” Minister Rattenbury said today.

The Minister’s comments come as Evoenergy and the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) have partnered to develop Australia’s first hydrogen test facility to test up to 100% hydrogen in situations where we currently use the fossil fuel natural gas.

Evoenergy who own and operate the ACT gas network, will test hydrogen on existing materials, equipment and work practices, potentially allowing it to be used in the existing gas distribution network in the future.

The facility will be launched in three phases over the next 12 months:

  • Phase 1: Testing existing Australian network components, construction and maintenance practices on 100% hydrogen
  • Phase 2:  Testing hydrogen as a broader energy storage source to support coupling the electricity network to the gas network.
  • Phase 3: Appliance testing (e.g. testing hydrogen and mixed gases in existing appliances like hot water systems).

Evoenergy Gas Networks Branch Manager, Will Yeap, said providing a safe and reliable supply was an Evoenergy priority for Canberrans.

“Evoenergy knows we have an important responsibility to look at renewable energy sources and stay ahead of the rapidly changing energy landscape,” Mr Yeap said.

“This first of its kind facility will allow us to gain a clear understanding of the impact of introducing hydrogen to existing infrastructure. We will be moving one step closer to realising the ability for a viable renewable gas source to be rolled out on a large scale.”

“The work by Evoenergy and CIT is important for determining if we need to make any modifications or replacements to allow the possible introduction of hydrogen into the natural gas distribution system,” Mr Rattenbury added.

“At the same time, CIT will use the facility to train plumbing students in these new technologies so they are skill-ready for the future.”

“The ACT Government will be looking at the results of the test facility closely as it looks to ways to achieve its ambitious target to reach zero net emissions by 2045,” Minister Rattenbury added.

Media alert: Minister Rattenbury will formally launch the facility at 1pm today.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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Lisa Wills

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