Tuesday, 21 July 2020
An Australian industry group appears to be taking the lead on the development of an international Guarantee of Origin scheme for renewable hydrogen, which will facilitate cross border trading.
The Hydrogen Working Group of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council has released nine issues papers, intended to promote strategies to develop the Australian hydrogen industry, but also has key insights on international trade of renewable hydrogen and the development of a Guarantee of Origin scheme.
Hydrogen production is seen as promising in Australia due to the abundance of natural resources, including renewable energy from solar and wind used in the production of green hydrogen, as well as feed materials natural gas and coal, which in conjunction with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies can be used to produce blue hydrogen. Furthermore, Australia is in close proximity to the important East Asian markets of Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.
The nine issues papers are titled:
Hydrogen at scale
Attracting hydrogen investment
Developing a hydrogen export industry
Guarantees of origin
Understanding community concerns for safety and the environment
Hydrogen in the gas network
Hydrogen to support electricity systems
Hydrogen for transport
Hydrogen for industrial users
While the papers deal mainly with domestic considerations, the Guarantees of Origin section has attracted attention within the international hydrogen community; this issue paper acknowledges the operation of the Dutch hydrogen registry, CertifHy while also noting its limitations for non-European markets.
The impetus for the development of a GO system will come from consumer preferences; a survey of consumer attitudes to hydrogen by the University of Queensland showed that domestic consumers care about the origins of hydrogen, and differentiate between renewable and non-renewable production of hydrogen. GO systems will also be important for corporations wishing to use hydrogen to reduce their emissions and provide certified proof to potential export markets.
It is suggested that the GOs should cover Scope 1 (direct) emissions and Scope 2 (indirect associated with electricity heat or steam) emissions initially, with Scope 3 (indirect, other) emissions to be added to the scheme at a later date. Green hydrogen would have zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions, while brown hydrogen (from fossil fuels without CCS) Scope 1 emissions would amount to approximately 10 kg CO2-e per kilogram of hydrogen.
Much consultation is still required, and the Australian industry group will continue to call upon international stakeholders in destination markets to develop this wide-reaching scheme.