The other renewable gas: Renewable methane as the sidekick to hydrogen and why both are needed to meet climate goals

The other renewable gas: Renewable methane as the sidekick to hydrogen and why both are needed to meet climate goals

As a company commencing its life on the precipice of the ‘hydrogen decade’, the perfect storm of factors pushing the molecule forward has been an ideal kickstart as we embark on our mission to decarbonise natural gas.

Yet while Southern Green Gas was born in the midst of this unprecedented interest in hydrogen, the company which launched in 2018, has been the culmination of many years of energy sector pursuits.

With three decades of energy sector experience under my belt, I’ve witnessed firsthand the ever-changing trends, technologies, business models and operating environments, both while working in multinationals and startups, that have shaped the energy system we see today.

Throughout this time, it’s been evident the sector has become progressively innovative in its approach to reducing its environmental footprint. With this trend has come plentiful opportunities for clean energy enthusiasts like myself to step out and pioneer new technologies aimed at decarbonising the world around us.

And the opportunity we have stepped out to take on is hydrogen. As an Australian-based company, hydrogen is the most exciting energy opportunity facing the country today. With our infrastructure, natural resources and trading relationships, Australia has a set of unique competitive advantages that set us apart in the global hydrogen landscape.

Australian industry and governments are proactively responding to this opportunity; working more collaboratively than they ever have before to capitalise on this new market without delay, and we’re excited to be in the middle of it.

However, as much as the case for hydrogen is a highly compelling one, it’s through my background in energy that I know that leveraging existing infrastructure, supply chains and markets wherever possible is the key to accelerating impactful change.

This is exactly where Southern Green Gas is directing its efforts; that is as we move towards greater levels of hydrogen development, instead of eroding our existing fossil fuel energy markets, transforming them to act as enablers of the hydrogen economy.

Southern Green Gas’ core technology is therefore not centred strictly on hydrogen. While hydrogen enthusiasts at heart, we are instead harnessing its potential to create brand new energy products that tackle the areas that hydrogen simply cannot while utilising existing energy frameworks wherever possible.

At the centre of our technology is the ability to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. By combining it with hydrogen to create methane, we are making an exportable fuel solution produced in Australia for the global renewable energy market.

The difference with our methane? It’s carbon neutral while also being completely sustainable with even the water required in the hydrogen production process collected from the air.

With all the same characteristics as natural gas, we believe that renewable methane is the lowest cost and fastest-to-market way to export clean hydrogen around the globe. Instead of building new supply chains, the LNG industry will provide the pathway to deliver this renewable energy to ​customers worldwide.

It has been the arrival of the hydrogen age that has opened the door for our technology as gas transmission operators grapple with the complexity of transitioning their assets to cleaner forms of energy and Australia’s energy hungry Asian neighbours look for new ways to power their economies cleanly.

As we commence our first demonstration project, which will go into operation in 2021 and will see renewable methane injected into Australian gas transmission infrastructure for the first time, we are actively developing the global marketplace for this clean gas in parallel.

We are engaging with stakeholders worldwide on the opportunities presented by sustainable natural gas as we embark on this exciting journey to create a new tradeable energy product – green LNG.

We know creating a new export market for renewable LNG is a momentous task, but the need to act couldn’t be more vital. We look forward to continuing to work with progressive partners to make this pragmatic vision a reality.

If you wish to learn more about our technology and the emerging marketplace for renewable methane we invite you to join our upcoming webinar on 11th November 2020. We’ll be joined by experts from Australia and overseas, including Enapter and APA Group. Further details can be found here.

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