In an industry with many contenders, Perth-based green hydrogen play Infinite Green Energy is one of the few to justify the hype, with global backing and legitimate projects.
If you believe the Federal Government, Australia is on the path to becoming a renewable energy superpower – and the stats seem to back that up according to EY, the World Bank and consultancy Rystad Energy.
Globally, Australia is ranked sixth on EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), which considers energy requirements, policy stability, project delivery capabilities and the diversity of natural resources.
Australia aims to become a major exporter of renewable energy – namely solar, wind and of course green hydrogen – by 2030.
The Federal Government’s claim is supported by the demand for hydrogen, which reached 87 million metric tonnes in 2020 and is expected to grow to 500-680mt by 2050, according to the World Bank. The hydrogen production market was valued at $130 billion and is estimated to grow by 9.2 per cent annually by 2030.
But the clincher is that more than 95 per cent of hydrogen production is based on coal or natural gas, with only 5 per cent able to claim a green status. This gap is mirrored somewhat in the nexus between Australia’s promise and delivery.
The Rystad Renewable Energy Cube indicates the disparity between the pipeline and the gigawatt. Although Australia has a pipeline of 95GW – mostly thanks to the Asia Renewable Energy Hub – we only have 1GW in play.
Sceptics may claim the hype surrounding green hydrogen from businesses and politicians is inconsistent with the quantity and legitimacy of projects.
But that is not to say that some of our green hydrogen players will not live up to the hype.
Infinite Green, which wants to enable a sustainable green hydrogen future using water, solar and wind, with no carbon debt, is developing a stable of projects in Australia, Italy and New Zealand that are designed to supply domestic and export markets across the transport, infrastructure and industry sectors.
The Peter Coleman-chaired company has completed front-end engineering and design studies on its flagship MEG HP1 hydrogen project in Northam, east of Perth.
Infinite Energy is targeting a final investment decision for the four tonnes-a-day MEG HP1 later this year and wants to produce first green hydrogen for the medium and heavy transport industries from as early as Q1 2025.
Last week came news that Infinite Green and partner Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction Group had welcomed Doral Energy Group into the development and construction mix for MEG HP1.
Samsung C&T is not confining its hydrogen interest to MEG HP1. It also has an MoU with Infinite Energy to develop another Infinite Energy project, Arrowsmith north of Perth.
Introducing Doral as a partner in MEG HP1, Infinite Green CEO Stephen Gauld said partnering with such a globally significant player would “build the confidence of shareholders, strategic partners, and buyers” of green hydrogen.
“The partnership highlights Infinite Energy’s commitment to not only fight climate change but to also see the WA economy and our local community benefit from the green energy transition,” Mr Gauld said.
Samsung C&T vice president Andrew Ahn said his company was “committed to fast-tracking the energy transition and creating opportunities for people and businesses”.
“Production of green hydrogen is a key component of that story,” Mr Ahn added.
Doral Hydrogen managing director Yam Efrati said the involvement with Samsung C&T and Infinite Energy at MEG HP1 was only the beginning and “will enable Doral Hydrogen to expand their activity worldwide in order to be a major player in the world energy transition”.