Advancing New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy, the New Zealand Hydrogen Association updates on operations

Advancing New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy, the New Zealand Hydrogen Association updates on operations

Formed in September 2018 by private and public sector organisations with seed funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the New Zealand Hydrogen Association is continuing to support the progression and uptake of low emission hydrogen in New Zealand.

Since the association last updated on its efforts in March, the world has changed significantly with the advent of Covid-19 and its far-reaching implications for us all.

“It is now time to look to the future and work together again to deliver a bold economic recovery that is focused with clarity and vision on the undoubted opportunity that transitioning to a low emission economy offers,” Dr. Linda Wright, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Hydrogen Association, said.

“As an innovative, nimble country with an abundance of renewable resources that is the envy of the world, this opportunity is ours for the taking.”

Like so many others, lockdown certainly wasn’t quiet for the New Zealand Hydrogen Association. As part of the association’s strategic vision and objectives developed by its members, deepening links to international associations has been at the forefront of its recent work.

The association has made significant progress particularly in the Asia Pacific and European regions with MoU’s signed with the Australian Hydrogen Council and the recently formed Asia Pacific Hydrogen Association.

“We are also honoured to become the first New Zealand organisation to be invited to join Japan’s Green Ammonia Consortium as an Advisory Member, where we are among an impressive line-up of international organisations,” Wright said.

“Work is also underway progressing collaboration agreements with both South Korea and Scotland, the latter of which is impressively in its 15th year of operation.”

“Our relationship with the global Hydrogen Council continues to strengthen, which provides significant profile on a world stage to our association and to New Zealand.”

Earlier this week, the association was invited to present on a diverse panel of high-level hydrogen stakeholders representing public and private organisations from key global economies.

The live webinar was organised by the Hydrogen Council for its members and was aimed at showcasing the range of stimulus packages and $$ being committed to the delivery of hydrogen infrastructure globally.

The major economies represented by regions included Asia Pacific (Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand), Europe (European Union and Germany) and North America (US, California and Canada).

A roadmap for hydrogen in New Zealand

The government’s hydrogen vision green paper outlined the potential uses of hydrogen in New Zealand and explored in a non-quantitative way some of the challenges associated with its use.

As a stepping stone to the development of New Zealand’s much-awaited hydrogen strategy and roadmap, MBIE has now published its most recent report.

Castalia were commissioned to produce an interactive model that seeks to take a preliminary view of hydrogen supply and demand pathways in New Zealand.

“MBIE acknowledge that the published results are strongly influenced by future forecasts and the assumptions made in relation to electricity price and technology change,” Wright said.

“Preliminary feedback from several association members has highlighted that certain key assumptions may require further analysis and refinement in order to achieve greater alignment with the New Zealand context.”

“MBIE has noted that feedback on the preliminary results of the model may be reflected in updates to the live model, which is still under development.”

Hydrogen R&D Strategy

Wright said the association is also working with MBIE and its members involved in hydrogen R&D to develop a framework that identifies the research initiatives currently underway in New Zealand.

“It will also identify the potential opportunities that exist for inward investment and collaboration across our international hydrogen networks,” Wright explained.

“The project which commenced prior to lockdown can now progress again with meetings planned for the coming weeks.”

Hydrogen Safety Standards

Work continues with Standards New Zealand to develop hydrogen safety standards that support the following objectives:

  • Enable the advancement of pilot/demonstration projects that will raise the profile for investment in hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuel.
  • Enable multiple hydrogen supply/generation and industrial feedstock pathways in support of the government’s medium and long-term carbon emission reduction targets.
  • Ensure standards that reflect the need for safe production, distribution, transportation and that encourage the future development of regional hydrogen bulk-storage hubs, that in-turn support supply chains for hydrogen, further related equipment investment (such as refuelling stations) and hydrogen-derived fuels.

Wright said Standards New Zealand are in the process of prioritising its recommendations on the following four priority work streams, which will form part of the Standards Development Roadmap:

  • Production & purification
  • Fuel station equipment and design
  • Mobility and safety
  • Network distribution and inspection.

New board member

The New Zealand Hydrogen Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Sinclair, General Manager of Hyundai New Zealand, as a newly appointed board member.

Sinclair has built up an extensive network of contacts and relationships throughout the Hyundai Motor Company, and has gained a significant amount of knowledge and understanding of the role hydrogen can play in New Zealand’s sustainable future.

He is also President of the Motor Industry Association which represents the official importers and distributors of new cars, trucks, and motorcycles to New Zealand.

Sinclair’s appointment follows the resignation of Steve Murray who was unable to continue his role as Director due to existing commitments.

“The association would like to thank Steve for his contribution to the Board and we look forward to continuing to work with him and the Tuaropaki Trust as a valued member of the association,” Wright said.

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