New open-source economic model for hydrogen developed in Australia; predicts A$2 per kg of hydrogen could be achieved sooner

New open-source economic model for hydrogen developed in Australia; predicts A$2 per kg of hydrogen could be achieved sooner

Monash University in collaboration with Geoscience Australia have developed an open-source economic model to assess the financial viability of potential hydrogen operations across Australia.

The Hydrogen Economic Fairways Tool (HEFT) is a free online tool with the ability to conduct a detailed geospatial-financial analysis of future large-scale hydrogen projects.

Read more: Green hydrogen already approaching cost-competitiveness in Australia, says new study

With this new tool, the government’s goal of producing hydrogen for less than A$2 ($1.5) per kg could be achieved much sooner than intended.

The speed of achieving this goal depends on many factors, including the momentum of technology adoption, cost reductions, configurations of the hydrogen supply chain, and delivery of supporting infrastructure.

The HEFT model calculates off-grid hydrogen production costs to be as low as A$2 ($1.5)/kg, given an optimal mix of wind and solar PV to maximise the utilisation rate of water electrolysis.

Adding water and delivery costs would lead to a hydrogen cost just below A$3 ($2.2)/kg before shipping.

Read more: Australia’s Hunter Hydrogen Network project progresses

Not only does the tool assess the quality of energy resources required to produce low-emissions hydrogen, but also considers the associated rail and road transportation infrastructures, pipelines to export ports and ready access to water, among other factors.

The two companies therefore believe that the tool could support decision-making by policymakers and investors on the location of new infrastructure and the development of hydrogen hubs in Australia.

The ultimate goal for HEFT is to optimise the development of shared infrastructure to facilitate large-scale hydrogen production and delivery, attracting investment into Australia’s hydrogen industry.

Further inclusions of battery, hydro, pumped hydro energy storage, and delivery infrastructures will be added to the tool.

You can find out more here.

The hydrogen market and opportunity in Oceania

Hydrogen is poised to fulfil its potential as a clean alternative to hydrocarbons in the global pursuit of decarbonisation to address climate change. Australia and New Zealand are both investigating the most appropriate applications and transition pathway for hydrogen within their energy systems and economies, making best use of their existing natural, social, cultural, human and financial resources.

In September 2019, New Zealand revealed its Green Paper – A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand that lays out the role hydrogen can play in the country’s economy.

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