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Western Australia to invest $22M to accelerate renewable hydrogen future

The Western Australia Government of Premier Mark McGowan will bring forward the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy targets by a decade and invest $22 million to develop hydrogen supply, meet growing demand for the clean fuel and create jobs.

Part of the WA Recovery Plan, the accelerated targets and nine studies and projects will boost the State’s renewable hydrogen industry and position WA as a major producer, user and exporter of renewable hydrogen.

The McGowan Government’s investment, increased business interest and pace of technology development means the goals of the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy are being bought forward from 2040 to 2030.

The strategy aims to boost the State’s hydrogen industry across four areas: export, use in remotely located industries, blending in natural gas networks, and use in fuel cell electric transport vehicles.

The McGowan Government has committed $5.7 million to an Australia-first renewable energy microgrid in the Gascoyne town of Denham, using a new solar power system to produce hydrogen from water.

The demonstrator microgrid will test the technology and feasibility of implementing microgrids incorporating hydrogen in regional areas across the State.

The State Government is committed to supporting the Denham project, subject to ARENA’s final consideration.

Another $2 million has been allocated to FMG H2’s renewable hydrogen mobility project in the Pilbara, which will produce solar hydrogen for transport at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine, advancing vital decarbonization technologies.

Fortescue plans to purchase 10 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses to replace its diesel bus fleet, and the lessons learnt from this project will support their plans to reduce reliance on imported diesel across a range of transport forms.

Another $1 million will be allocated by the McGowan Government towards ATCO’s hydrogen refueler project in Jandakot that will develop, deploy and operate the first green hydrogen refuelling station in WA.

The station will integrate with ATCO’s existing Clean Energy Innovation Hub in Jandakot, and service ATCO’s fleet of fuel cell electric cars and approved vehicles of other organisations.

The Jandakot H2-Fuel project is a key enabler to driving down the costs of refueling infrastructure, and an opportunity to build the local skills and labour force required to support the industry.

Over time, the hydrogen refueller project could be expanded to target more than 1,000 fuel cell electric vehicles in metropolitan Perth.

An additional $5 million in funding will be allocated to the State Government’s existing $10 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund for grants to support industry development.

Other initiatives in the WA Recovery Plan to boost the hydrogen industry include:

  • $3 million for a regulatory reform package to undertake and support a local hydrogen industry;

  • $2.7 million to expand the Renewable Hydrogen Unit in the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation;

  • $1 million towards identifying locations suitable for hydrogen storage;

  • $1 million towards developing a detailed supply chain model that promotes hydrogen and identifies bottlenecks and limitations affecting the hydrogen export industry; and

  • $600,000 to study blending hydrogen in the WA gas network and related technical, economic and regulatory implications.



Interesting question: what to do with H2 you have generated with excess electricity:

a: Push it into the Gas grid (should be able to take 15-20%)
b: Use it to replace steam reformed H2 for industrial processes.
c: Use it to run Fuel cell vehicles.
d: Use it to crack long chain hydrocarbons into higher power shorter chain ones.

Or a larger question: what do you do with excess electricity that nobody can use at the time (assuming you have too much to just store in batteries) ?

Energy question of the age (IMO).


"Or a larger question: what do you do with excess electricity that nobody can use at the time (assuming you have too much to just store in batteries) ?"

This will not work everywhere but where it will work, use it for pumped storage. You get about twice the efficiency with pumped storage compared with hydrolysis/fuel cell generation.


It depends what you do with the hydrogen, if you run trucks and buses you are substituting for an inefficient and polluting alternative.

Roger Pham

The efficiency of H2 is greatly improved with waste heat utilization, amount to 80% round-trip efficiency, to rival any other means of e-storage like pump-storage..
For example, during the winters, home-based Fuel Cell can provide electricity to charge your EV at night, while providing waste heat to keep you warm.
Second example: Grid-excess Solar electricity during the day can be used to make H2, for used to provide home power later in the evening, with waste heat used for hot water., at 80% round-trip efficiency.
Of course, in the summers, ice can be made to store solar energy for home cooling later in the evening, with around 80% round-trip efficiency, the same as pump-storage.



Your argument is a bit like arguing that tungsten filament light bulbs are 100% efficient if you can use the waste heat.

If you count electricity in versus electricity out, you will be lucky to get 40% efficiency with hydrolysis/fuel cell generation.

Roger Pham

sd stated: "....40% efficiency with hydrolysis/fuel cell generation."

Reply: For that reason, use more efficient means of e-storage first before resorting to Hydrogen. The problem is that batter, pump-storage, and ice storage are severely limited in capacity and can only hold a few days' worth of energy and not seasonal quantity.
A Plug-in FCV with 40-50-mile of plug-in range can satisfy 80-90% of total energy using grid-electricity, and only needing H2 for long trips. A Plug-in FCV only requires 1/5th the battery capacity of an equivalent long-range BEV, thus freeing up a lot of battery to make 5x the number of plug-in EV's.

It so happens that above certain latitude, winters are cold and requiring heat energy to keep warm, and this is where H2 will be most efficient, and solar energy is lacking in the winters. Plug-in FCV can also use the waste heat of FC for winter driving.
Summers also require a lot of energy for cooling, but solar energy is plentiful in the summers, and ice storage can cheaply hold enough energy for a day or so, for evening and night cooling need.
So, H2 cannot be a sole solution, but can provide seasonal quantity of e-storage for the entire society, in conjunction with battery, pump-storage, and ice storage.

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