Commonwealth opens crucial discussion on hydrogen certification – pv magazine Australia
The Federal Government has released a discussion paper on an Australian Guarantee of Origin for Hydrogen (GO System) certification system as part of its National Hydrogen Strategy. A diagram which would seek to measure and monitor the emissions of hydrogen production, that is to say a diagram which would make it possible to clearly distinguish the production of green, blue, gray and brown hydrogen.
Recent pv magazine Round Tables Europe 2021 event, Aurélie Beauvais, Deputy CEO of SolarPower Europe underlined that one of the most important aspects of the development of green hydrogen at the moment is the certification, that is to say how we can know if a molecule of hydrogen is green or blue or gray or brown. “How do we define and certify renewable hydrogen,” Beauvais said, “and how do we make sure that we don’t double-count the electron produced? ”
In a recent forecast that predicted AAustralia’s low-carbon hydrogen export revenues could reach $ 90 billion by 2050, Wood MacKenzie Markets and Transitions Manager Prakesh Sharma, “A stable and reliable source of low-carbon hydrogen supply becomes essential because it is impossible to say how a given hydrogen molecule was produced. A guarantee of origin is therefore crucial to allow minimal environmental impact, i.e. carbon leakage.
“The standards also contribute to risk assessment and transparent pricing of the market,” continued Sharma. “Australia should benefit because the rules for the shipping, transportation, storage and quality of hydrogen products are defined and accepted internationally. ”
Approach proposed by the government
The government’s approach describes methodologies related to the three main routes of hydrogen production: electrolysis, coal gasification with carbon capture and storage (CCS), and steam methane reforming with CCS. However, the document mentions the likely need for the program to evolve in the future to include other pathways and aspects of the hydrogen value chain such as storage, transport, downstream products and energy carriers. such as ammonia.
Of course, since the GO program is a product of the National Hydrogen Strategy, it is technologically neutral, which means that the hydrogen produced with captured and stored emissions is as green as hydrogen produced in a renewable manner.
The program, on which the government is working as a member of the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) Hydrogen Production Analysis Working Group, seeks to support the European CertifHy approach, which sets a minimum emission intensity and is currently in its third phase, its deployment at EU level.
There are other GO programs at varying levels of advancement including TUV SUD in Germany, AFHYPAC in France and GOs for fuels in general exist in North America, Taiwan and Singapore, although the hydrogen is not specifically included.
So far, the government’s discussion paper repeats a brief history of the stakeholder survey that resulted in its decision to put in place an initial national program aligned with the HHI (as opposed to one developed with a business partner or aligned with CertifHy) which would transition to an international regime system over time.
The GO would be certified on the basis of data declared over a period of 12 months and according to a tonne of hydrogen, taking into account emissions (scope 1 and 2), installation and location, production technology and the main fuel source.
Green hydrogen production
The document proposes to use Large Scale Production Certificates (LGCs) voluntarily surrendered under the Large Scale Renewable Energy Goal (LRET) to track and verify renewable electricity demands from hydrogen producers. . This proposed use requires “an agreed understanding of what these certificates represent as 1 MWh of eligible renewable energy production”.
The article uses the example of a hydrogen producer connected to the Queensland grid who voluntarily cedes an LGC from a wind farm in Victoria. Since the producer is connected to the grid, the electrons it actually consumes would be a mixture produced by coal, gas, renewables and other technologies. However, under a market-based emissions accounting method, where the percentage of electricity consumption attributed to LRET is taken from the percentage of renewable energy (RPP) for the given reporting year. So if the renewable energy percentage is 18.5 and the Queensland generator used 1,000 MWh of electricity for that reporting year, it can report 185 MWh as zero emissions. The zero emission benefit would still be awarded to the Victorian network.
The document concedes long-term limitations on the use of large-scale production certificates in that they would not be internationally adaptable and certificates cannot be created under the laws of large-scale production. renewable energies after 2030, when it is expected to be phased out. The document therefore suggests another approach which would see the establishment of a “renewable GO certificate”, used to track and verify renewable electricity below the baseline.
“A renewable GO certificate could be voluntarily surrendered using the Renewable Electricity Certificate Registry (REC) which is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER).
The Australian Hydrogen Council (AHC) hailed the government discussion paper stating that hydrogen certification “is crucial to building a credible hydrogen industry,” AHC CEO Fiona Simon agreeing that The Clean Energy Regulator “is a credible and established body that would be well suited to administering the scheme in Australia.
“The AHC looks forward to seeing a certification approach locked in in 2021,” Simon continued, “so producers and consumers can be assured that Australia has a credible, valuable and differentiated hydrogen product.” .
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) also welcomed the consultation on the GO program, noting that such a program “will be essential for Australian hydrogen producers to demonstrate to customers that their hydrogen is renewable or zero emission.”
“It is clear that international customers and business partners have a preference for renewable hydrogen,” CEC said in a statement, “and we expect that over time, customers will also be prepared to pay. a higher price for this renewable product. It is therefore essential that we can differentiate renewable hydrogen from other fuel sources.
The CEC also supports the credibility of the CER and “we support the proposal that the CER lead the administration of this regime”.
The Australian government finally released today its discussion paper on the certification of #hydrogen projects. It was due out in 2020.
The discussion paper is welcome, but we have serious concerns.
Here are our thoughts (a thread):
– SmartEnergy Council (@SmartEnergyCncl) June 21, 2021
Smart Energy Council CEO John Grimes, however, voiced concerns over the government’s technological agnosticism and its adoption of hydrogen made from fossil fuels. “It is disappointing that the australian government is so focused on hydrogen from coal and fossil gas, rather than renewable hydrogen, renewable ammonia and renewables [and] tThis document provides no certainty for producers and buyers of renewable hydrogen, ammonia and metals, ”Grimes said in response to the news.
“The discussion paper is a useful, albeit long delayed, start by the Australian government on critical certification issues, but it reinforces our view that the government is failing Australians by refusing to develop a national policy on certification. energy or climate change or commit to strong short- and long-term emission reduction strategies.
He added that it was “disappointing” that the government had not once mentioned the Smart Energy Council’s zero-carbon certification program, which now has 12 Australian and international founding partner institutions and companies.
The Smart Energy Council and the Clean Energy Regulator have both said they are eager to cooperate to secure the origin of Australian hydrogen, with the regulator seeing its role as providing government-backed certificates, leaving many behind. space for actors like the Smart Energy Council to distribute and validate these.
Read the discussion paper and give your opinion on our consultation center. Closing of submissions July 30, 2021.
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