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(AUSTRALIA) Green/Blue HYDROGEN Deal OR No Deal Report: Construction equipment maker JCB has signed a deal to buy billions of pounds of green hydrogen, defined as hydrogen produced using renewable energy but #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.01: While the company and WA Premier Mark McGowan said the $1 billion project, dubbed H2Perth, would position WA as a global clean energy powerhouse, the facility was not going to be entirely ‘green’…….Mr McGowan said the facility would be built on about 130 hectares of vacant industrial land, commercially leased from the state government……..Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said the phased development would, at full potential, produce up to 1500 tonnes of hydrogen per day for export in the form of ammonia and liquid hydrogen……

#AceDailyNews says BBC/ABC JCB signs green hydrogen deal worth billions after Woodside Petroleum unveils plans for $1 billion hydrogen and ammonia plant in Kwinana Oil and gas giant Woodside has announced plans to build a hydrogen and ammonia production hub on government land south of Perth, sparking debate over the project’s green credentials: The first phase of the project would produce mostly “blue” hydrogen and around a third “green”…….It’s been identified as the clean energy source that could help bring the world to net-zero emissions, but green hydrogen’s future is not yet assured.

Blonde woman wearing black suit and ruffled shirt standing in front of Woodside workers controlling a robot
Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill says H2Perth would be a landmark project, both for Woodside and WA.(ABC: Daniel Mercer)

“The land being leased from the state government in the Kwinana and Rockingham areas is ideally located close to existing gas, power, water and port infrastructure, as well as a skilled local residential workforce,” Ms O’Neill said. 

“H2Perth is designed to be net-zero emissions for both Woodside and its customers, supporting Woodside’s corporate emissions reduction targets and the Paris Agreement goals of customers in the region.”

A chart showing two different ways of producing hydrogen.
A comparison of production process for the “blue” and “green” types of hydrogen.(Supplied: Woodside)

Project a blend of green and blue hydrogen

Blue hydrogen is still produced using fossil fuels but the carbon dioxide is captured and stored or offset, while green hydrogen is produced from electrolysis powered by renewable energy. Will ‘green hydrogen’ live up to the hype?

In this case the hydrogen will be produced from natural gas and Woodside says 100 per cent of the project’s carbon emissions would be abated or offset.

The project is partly considered green because it would use electricity generated by renewable energy through the South West Interconnected System, which includes rooftop solar power.

“H2Perth will also facilitate substantial growth of renewables in Western Australia by providing to the grid a flexible and stabilising load that benefits uptake of intermittent renewable electricity by households and local industry,” Ms O’Neill said. 

Conservation council says ‘devil is in the detail’

Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Policy and Legal Director Piers Verstegen said the project fell short as it would use gas, which is a fossil fuel.

A bearded man sits on a wooden bench with a backdrop of lush vegetation.
CCWA policy director Piers Verstegen has described the project as a ‘greenwashing’ exercise by Woodside.(ABC News: Elicia Kennedy)

He said Woodside needed to detail exactly what emissions would be generated by the project and how that would be offset.

“In the future, the market is not going to want blue hydrogen,” he said. 

“The market is going to demand genuinely clean products, not fossil gas that will be greenwashed with uncertain and highly risky offsets such as tree planting,” he said.

“This development has made for a good headline but the devil is in the detail, and on closer inspection, it appears to be yet another way for Woodside to greenwash its highly polluting fossil gas expansion plans,” Mr Verstegen said.

“We would always welcome resource companies moving into renewable energy and green hydrogen in a genuine way, but this project appears to be yet another greenwashing exercise for Woodside.”

Staged approach manages costs, expert says

Grattan Institute energy and climate director Tony Wood said there was nothing wrong with Woodside’s staged approach to producing green hydrogen.

He said while the company was starting out using fossil fuel, its plans were to transition to greener hydrogen over time which made sense given the cost of producing green hydrogen was currently much higher.

“One answer is to start with hydrogen being manufactured from a fossil fuel, in this case natural gas, then put in place all of the other parts of the supply chain,” he said.

“And then, if and when the cost of making hydrogen from renewable energy comes down, you simply replace that part of the supply chain.

“That is the logic of the process which Woodside have proposed in H2Perth.

“I don’t think there is any good reason why you should not go through fossil fuels, because it might actually get you there.

“Because right now, if you made hydrogen from renewable energy, it would be so expensive no one would buy it.

“What Woodside have proposed is a way through that difficult problem.”

A heashot of a man in a suit
Tony Wood says Woodside’s staged approach towards the production of green hydrogen was understandable. (Supplied: Grattan Institute)

Mr Wood said it was wrong to accuse Woodside of greenwashing over its proposed hydrogen plant.

“It [the proposal] is not what I would call green hydrogen,” he said.

“But it is still very low emissions hydrogen and if they then do what Woodside have said they would do, that is that all of the C02 that is produced when it is made from natural gas is either captured and stored or offset, then it is still zero emission hydrogen.

“They can validly claim this really is low emission hydrogen.

“As the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable energy comes down, they will move to renewable energy. In the meantime they have said they will capture all of the C02 or offset it that is produced from the gas process.”

Mr Wood said there was no regulatory requirement for the company to be held to its commitment to offset emissions.

“There is no fundamental reason why what Woodside have said they will do [offset and abate] cannot be done,” he said.

“But they need to be held to what they have said.”

Play Video. Duration: 5 minutes 50 seconds
Is green hydrogen the fuel of the future?

Woodside assures it will offset all emissions

A Woodside spokeswoman said the project was expected to use 40 terajoules — equivalent to 1 trillion joules or 0.278 Gigawatt hours (GWh) — of gas per day. 

“H2Perth will be a net-zero project,” she said. $4b of taxpayer money now committed for carbon capture and storageAfter decades of trials, nearly $4 billion of taxpayer money has now been committed to carbon capture and storage, and it’s still not operating on an industrial scale. But proponents say they are close, and others say CCS must play a role to reach net zero.Read more

“We will use a combination of abatements, offsets and renewable energy certificates to offset 100 per cent of all emissions.”

Biosequestration, which involves the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by plants and micro-organisms and its storage in vegetation and soils, will form the “base case” for offsets.

But Woodside is also actively pursuing opportunities for carbon utilisation, whereby the emitted carbon is turned into useful products.

“Our very early estimates are that the natural gas reforming part of H2Perth could generate approximately 0.75 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. 

“Emissions from the first phase electrolysis component will depend on the energy mix at the time of purchase from the grid,” she said.

“We will look at enabling more renewables to enter the grid as future phases require more power.”

Facility will help WA go carbon neutral, premier says

Woodside planned to start community engagement on the project soon and, subject to necessary commercial and regulatory approvals and a final investment decision, construction was estimated to start in 2024.

Mr McGowan said the project would help WA move towards net zero by 2050.

“The H2Perth facility is a great example of the type of renewable energy projects we want to bring to Western Australia,” he said.

“This project will boost manufacturing in the south metropolitan region and create thousands of local jobs within the construction, manufacturing and renewable energy sectors.”

The announcement came just days after mining magnate Andrew Forrest said WA government red tape had held him back from making his first big hydrogen investment in his home state

WA Lands Minister Tony Buti said the state government was finalising amendments to the Land Administration Act 1997, which would offer new opportunities through land tenure outcomes for the hydrogen industry throughout WA.

More than 30 hydrogen projects in the pipeline

WA Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the state had more than 30 hydrogen project proposals on the table.

“It is fantastic to see a major Western Australian company like Woodside investing in hydrogen here in WA,” she said.

Pluto LNG Plant, onshore gas plant
The Conservation Council of WA has also criticised Woodside’s proposed $16 billion Scarborough LNG project. ((Supplied: Woodside))

Separately, the WA government recently gave approval for a key component of Woodside’s proposed $16 billion Scarborough LNG development to go ahead.

Approval conditions included environmental management plans to minimise and monitor impact on marine fauna and coral and a comprehensive cultural heritage management plan.

The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) still slammed the approval, saying the Scarborough LNG project would accelerate climate change, damage marine biodiversity and harm unique cultural heritage.

Woodside said Scarborough gas contained negligible reservoir carbon dioxide and extensive stakeholder consultation had been completed.

The gas giant was due to make a final investment decision on that project this year.

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

A general view of the JCB World Part Centre Warehouse in Uttoxeter, England

The deal means JCB will take 10% of the green hydrogen made by the Australian firm Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).

FFI said the deal was a “first-of-a-kind partnership” that would see it become the UK’s largest supplier of the clean fuel.

Production, mostly done outside the UK, is expected to begin early next year.

JCB and a firm called Ryze Hydrogen would then distribute it in the UK.

Lord Anthony Bamford, founder and chairman of JCB, said the deal would help to make green hydrogen a viable solution, telling the BBC it was “the right thing to do”.

Hydrogen does not produce carbon emissions when it is burned, so is considered a likely replacement for fossil fuels in heavy industries such as shipping and steel and cement-making.

Lord Bamford has also called on the government to invest in hydrogen-fuelled forms of transport such as buses, trains and aircraft.

In a statement, he said: “It’s fine having an engine powered by green hydrogen, but no good if customers can’t get green hydrogen to fuel their machines. 

“This is a major advance on the road towards making green hydrogen a viable solution.”

‘Critical role’

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said low carbon hydrogen has a critical role to play in the UK’s transition to net zero – that is balancing the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.

In the government’s UK Hydrogen Strategy, the business secretary argues the UK’s “infrastructure and technical know-how make us ideally positioned to be a global leader in hydrogen”.

However, he has previously admitted its production, and use, would have to rapidly increase for the government’s ambitions to be achieved.

Getty ImagesLord Bamford’s son and entrepreneur Jo Bamford also owns Wrightbus, which built the world’s first hydrogen double decker

Robert Buckley, an energy analyst at Cornwall Insights, said: “Hydrogen has the potential to be a very important energy source for heavy transport and industry.”

But he pointed out that Australia, where the hydrogen for the JCB deal will largely be produced, has more solar electricity resources than the UK, as well as an established gas export industry.

He said that could give other countries, such as Australia, “an early advantage” while hydrogen production in the UK became more established.

Ministers think low carbon hydrogen has a critical role to play in the transition to net zero. 

The goal is 5 gigawatts of production capacity by 2030. However, the Business Secretary admits production and usage would have to be ramped up fast for that to be met. 

And when the government’s UK Hydrogen Strategy was published in August, the trade association RenewableUK said it didn’t focus enough on developing the UK’s green hydrogen industry – meaning production that uses renewable energy, not natural gas. 

The new agreement involves importing green hydrogen from abroad, made by a subsidiary of Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Mining Group.

One energy analyst said that such deals could mean that the technology becomes commercial quicker, and firms themselves take it up more quickly. That’s clearly the hope for two hydrogen-enthusiastic businessmen.

JCB, based in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, also announced earlier this monththat it was spending £100m on a project to produce “super efficient hydrogen engines” to power its machinery.

This latest deal ties in billionaire Lord Bamford and JCB with FFI, which is the newer renewables subsidiary of mining giant Fortescue Metals Group, owned by Andrew Forrest. 

Lord Bamford’s son, entrepreneur Jo Bamford, is also founder of Ryze Hydrogen, which is building the UK’s first network of green hydrogen production plants.

Mr Bamford is also the chairman and owner of Wrightbus, which built the UK’s first hydrogen double decker.

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