Western Australia’s newly established Renewable Hydrogen Council, focussing on opportunities for the country to capture a share of the global demand for clean energy, met for the first time last week.

The McGowan Ministry is looking at how to capitalise on Western Australia’s vast land and renewable energy resources, including wind and solar, to deliver renewable hydrogen (H2) to export markets. 

The council, a collective of government (State and national), industry and other representatives with significant renewable H2 industry expertise, will be led by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

Members have been drawn from the Office of the Minister for Energy; Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation; Australian Gas Infrastructure Group; ATCO Gas; Woodside; ENGIE; Hydrogen Mobility Australia; CSIRO; ARENA; Yara; and Jackson McDonald.

As a fuel, H2 can be used in similar ways to natural gas. In simple terms, it can be burned, used to create electricity, or stored for future energy generation or export. When made using renewable energy such as solar or wind, H2 is a carbon free fuel as, when burned, the only by-products are water and heat.

The council will deliver its recommendations in early 2019.

Minister MacTiernan commented, “Renewable hydrogen has the potential to be a major new industry for Western Australia that can build on many of our strengths to provide trading partners with clean energy.

“As the world moves to a lower carbon future, Western Australia has enormous potential to provide the clean energy the world will need, but the imperative is to move quickly and strategically.

“We are building on the momentum generated out of our Renewable Hydrogen Conference, and I look forward to working with the council to explore the strategic approaches that would help the development and growth of a renewable hydrogen industry in regional Western Australia.”