Hydrogen is rapidly emerging as a viable energy storage option, but if the goal is to reduce the use of fossil fuels, then green hydrogen is the obvious choice, because its counterpart, blue hydrogen, depends on burning fossil fuels to create the energy in the first place.
A new report from the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) explores investor interest in hydrogen and shows investors want Australia to develop a low emissions hydrogen industry, which points towards a focus on green hydrogen.
The research highlights investment risks related to blue hydrogen such as high prices for gas, as well its reliance on unproven technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS).
“Australia’s hydrogen industry is at a critical juncture. We have the opportunity to set the course now for a low emissions and high integrity hydrogen industry, and one that must be aligned to the Paris based temperature goals of limiting warming to 1.5c.” says IGCC CEO, Rebecca Mikula-Wright.
“Billions of dollars are going to flow into the industry over the next decade and it’s crucial those investment decisions are made with foresight about the different opportunities and risks of green versus blue hydrogen.
The industry is nascent, and competing energy sources are emerging as the need to reduce GHG emissions becomes a global priority.
In a recent clash, the head of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) suggested that calls by industrialist Andrew Forest, for all hydrogen to be green, were extreme and threatened local exports. It was argued that green hydrogen was a long way from being commercialised at sufficient scale, and that the local industry needed to develop much more quickly.
The IGCC report suggests Australian investors can contribute to the development of the green hydrogen sector by increasing renewable energy investment, supporting the development of robust certification standards, and advocating for policy positions that support a shift away from fossil fuels.