Australian Consortium Set to Fast-Track Natural Hydrogen Discovery With Groundbreaking Project

By July 6, 2023 3   min read  (436 words)

July 6, 2023 |

australian consortium set to fasttrack natural hydrogen discovery with groundbreaking project

An innovative project is underway in Australia, involving a consortium of H2EX, Black & Veatch, the University of Adelaide, and the Australian National University.

The partnership aims to speed up the detection and extraction of natural hydrogen, a renewable energy source. The objective of this trailblazing initiative is to devise a blueprint for exploratory activities in the emerging industry, allowing Australia to retain its global edge as a cost-efficient energy producer and to capitalize on domestic and export market opportunities.

australian consortium set to fasttrack natural hydrogen discovery with groundbreaking project1With natural hydrogen anticipated to be significantly more affordable than its manufactured counterpart, this project has immense implications for the nation’s renewable energy sector. The group aims to utilize green and non-invasive exploration techniques to hasten the discovery of natural hydrogen and advance Australia’s renewable energy agenda.

The project has secured A$863,000 (US$575,544) in grant funding through the Cooperative Research Council Projects (CRC-P) Round 14 initiative, contributing towards the total estimated cost of A$2.1 million. The exploration activities are set to occur in H2EX’s licensed area, PEL 691, covering 6000 square kilometers on the Eyre Peninsula in regional South Australia. Project commencement is slated for late 2023, spanning an 18-month period.

Australia is setting its sights on being a forerunner in natural hydrogen exploration, striving for a valuable head start in the burgeoning global market. The project’s success could potentially create substantial export opportunities and harness the nation’s highly-regarded technical and engineering expertise. By maintaining its competitive advantage in the renewable energy sector, Australia continues to assert its dominance as a leading global energy producer.

Accidental natural hydrogen discoveries have been recorded during water, mining, and petroleum industry operations worldwide. In South Australia, hydrogen purity levels of 50% to 85% were incidentally detected in oil bores drilled a century ago. This accidental detection, along with the South Australian government’s 2021 amendment of petroleum legislation permitting natural hydrogen exploration, showcases the commitment to fostering renewable energy initiatives.

The alliance between H2EX, Black & Veatch, and the esteemed Australian universities marks a significant leap in expediting the exploration and extraction of natural hydrogen. By leveraging natural resources and pioneering research, Australia is positioning itself to unlock the vast potential of natural hydrogen, which could provide a more cost-efficient alternative to its manufactured counterpart. This project not only cements Australia’s leading position in the natural hydrogen sector but also enhances its renewable energy portfolio and strengthens its dedication to sustainable energy solutions. The successful exploration of natural hydrogen resources could drastically transform the energy landscape, paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future.


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