In an existing national hydrogen roadmap for Australia, the government’s independent research agency CSIRO lays heavy emphasis on export opportunities alongside domestic uses. Potential demand for Australian hydrogen in key markets China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore could rise from nothing now to between 26,000 and 340,000 tonnes in 2030, according to estimates for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).8 The forecasted range for 2040 is 600,000 to three million tonnes. Many factors can accelerate or slow the development of hydrogen uptake in countries and regions worldwide (Figure 2).
A hydrogen export industry would need extensive production, storage, and transport technologies. However, lessons can be learned from the planning and execution of liquefied natural gas mega-projects in Australia, the CSIRO roadmap notes.
Among the key targets for Australian hydrogen, Japan aims to become the ’first hydrogen society’.9 Hydrogen-fuelled transportation is a key part of Japan’s Basic Hydrogen Strategy. This strategy includes developing an international supply chain for the liquefied form by the mid-2020s, with commercial operation in the 2030s. A Japanese-Australian consortium is building a pilot plant for a proposed multi-billion-dollar facility to convert brown coal in Australia to hydrogen at a specially-designed complex operated by Australia’s largest power company. The idea is that the hydrogen will be liquefied, stored, then shipped to Japan, with the first shipment scheduled for 2020–2021.
Norway: Picking up pace on hydrogen for transportation
Following several years of small-scale local initiatives and low budgets, Norway’s government is creating a national strategy for hydrogen technology R&D and use. It is considering methods of hydrogen production and storage, and uses in transport, particularly maritime.10 For example, it will also consider creating a market for renewable hydrogen produced by electrolysis and powered by wind, in a country that otherwise leans heavily on hydropower. DNV GL has delivered to the government a report on production and use of hydrogen in Norway towards 2030 as part of the knowledge base for forming the strategy.
Among other developments in Norway, the Uno-X Hydrogen joint venture between retail energy company Uno-X, gas firm Praxair and technology provider Nel Hydrogen aims to build 20 hydrogen fuelling stations by 2020. This will serve major cities in Norway and is based on a similar network deployment in Denmark. Another initiative is HYBRIDShip – Hydrogen and Battery Technology for Innovative Drives in Ships. It aims to convert an existing diesel-powered ferry to hydrogen by 2020. 11
Jørg Aarnes, senior principal engineer, DNV GL - Group Technology & Research, said: “Hydrogen can be competitive for heavy trucks and long distance buses, and also for passenger trains on railroads that are not electrified. However, national and local authorities could stimulate its use further through incentives for considering and developing lower-carbon concepts involving hydrogen.”
DNV GL’s latest rules and regulations for hydrogen as an alternative fuel were published in January 2018. Working closely with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), the company also produced the EMSA Study on the Use of Fuel Cells in Shipping under an agreement with the European Commission and in support of EU Member States.12
- ‘Global trends and outlook for hydrogen’, IEA Hydrogen Technology Collaboration Program, December 2017
- ‘IEA holds high-level workshop on hydrogen’, IEA press release, 18 February 2019
- ‘National hydrogen roadmap: Pathways to an economically sustainable hydrogen industry in Australia’, CSIRO, 2018
- ‘The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the way to a low carbon future’, HM Government, UK, 2017
- H21 North of England, NGN press release, 26 November 2018
- ‘Outlines of a hydrogen roadmap’, J Gigler and M Weeda, TKI Nieuw Gas with assistance from TKI Energie & Industrie, May 2018
- ‘Opportunities for Australia from hydrogen exports’, ACIL Allen Consulting for ARENA, 2018
- ‘Basic Hydrogen Strategy (key points)’, METI, Japan, 2017
- ‘Hydrogen is finally getting attention from Norwegian politicians’, openaccessgovernment.org, 2 July 2018
- ‘Power ahead with hydrogen ferries’, DNV GL, dnvgl.com, February 2019
- ‘EMSA Study on the use of Fuel Cells in Shipping’ EMSA, www.emsa.europe. EU, updated 24.01.2017.