Hydrogen Mobility Australia welcomes the announcement by the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, that the Australian Government will undertake a national energy security assessment.
The review is a timely opportunity to consider potential options to ensure Australia’s energy policy, including transport fuels, is effective for the longer term while ensuring that responses ultimately deliver reliable and affordable energy.
Hydrogen Mobility Australia looks forward to participating in this review as an advocate for the inclusion of clean hydrogen as part of the solution to achieve the Australian Government’s fuel security objectives as well as in the context of its broader energy policy.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and can be produced almost anywhere from a variety of sources, including renewables such as wind and solar. As an energy carrier, hydrogen has the ability to be stored in large quantities for significant periods of time making it an ideal energy store. It therefore has the capacity to be part of the energy mix while being an environmentally friendly fuel source.
The flexibility of hydrogen as an energy source is being recognised worldwide, with nations such as Japan transitioning towards a ‘Hydrogen Society’ whereby hydrogen will be the predominant fuel used economy-wide, across sectors including transport, industrial and residential. The rationale for this transition is not only for the purposes of decarbonisation, but to also create a new energy sector based on clean fuel with economic benefits generated through job creation and investment.
The Hydrogen Council, a global initiative of leading energy, transport and industry companies predicts that by 2050, hydrogen could meet 18 per cent of the world’s energy demands and avoid 6 Gt of CO₂ emissions or 20 per cent of CO₂ emission reduction targets by 2050. They forecast that the hydrogen opportunity will create a global market with revenues of US$2.5 trillion each year, provide 30 million jobs and reduce CO₂ in sectors like mobility by between 40 and 60 per cent.
From a mobility perspective, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are beginning to proliferate transport fleets across Europe, the US and Asia. Brands such as Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota are all manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars, while companies such as Nikola Motors will shortly release a hydrogen fuel cell semi-truck. Only last month the first hydrogen fuel cell forklift in Australia was launched by Hydrogen Mobility Australia member Hyster-Yale, marking the next step in the adoption of hydrogen as a commercial transport fuel in Australia.
Hydrogen Mobility Australia CEO, Claire Johnson says that the association’s members believe that hydrogen has an important role to play in Australia’s energy policy. “We look forward to discussing hydrogen’s benefits and applications as part of the Australian Government’s national energy security assessment, and working with all stakeholders to support Australia’s transition to a clean energy economy,’ Ms Johnson said.