FOR a man whose company has some impressive hydrogen plans Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman has some reservations about the future of ‘green’ or renewable hydrogen.
Speaking on a panel that included Chevon Corporation managing director Al Williams, Shell Australia chair Zoe Yujnovich and Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association CEO Andrew McConville Coleman pointed out some of the issues well known by scientists and engineers and often forgotten by politicians: it has a lower energy density than other fuels and tiny molecules prone to escape.
Last week the federal government released its hydrogen strategy with an aim to kickstart Australia's trade and use of the gas by 2030, taking a technology-neutral stance that still sees a place for fossil fuel-based hydrogen provided resulting carbon is captured. Political will at state and federal level is apparent, in a huge change from even two years ago but technical expertise still lags.
Pulling figures he used last week in Sydney at a press event on the sideline of Woodside's investor briefing day Coleman told the Resources Technology Showcase in Perth to create enough green hydrogen to equal the energy from just Pluto LNG's single train would be some 60 gigawatts.
That equates to a solar farm the size of greater Sydney.
"Multiply that out by all of the trains we have operating. We have to solve the problem in a different way."
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan, also on the panel, has been an ardent supporter of development of a state hydrogen strategy but was genuinely surprised by the figures.
Source: Energy News Bulletin
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