One of the biggest problems with many renewable energy sources is that they do not produce energy 24/7. So many minds are focused on clean energy storage solutions right now. This is great, because, when human minds focus on a problem, we often come up with solutions.
One solution that has been around for a while and is now getting a lot more attention is the H2O equation.
This equation shows how water can be used to make hydrogen using electrolysis which, when burned with oxygen produces water. This circular equation, when produced using renewable energy (for example from solar farms during the day) is a zero emission, clean energy solution that can be used to meet the variability of electricity demand.
In fact, the first consumer hydrogen house was built in the US in 2006. The hydrogen produced by solar on the property is burned like natural gas and is converted to electricity via a hydrogen fuel cell. The hydrogen is also used to power a vehicle and excess is sold resulting in a revenue stream of between $7,000 and $20,000 per year.
There are two renewable hydrogen projects planned for Queensland that have just been announced with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency agreeing to initiate funding to support feasibility studies.
This is great news and a step in the right direction to move Australia toward the huge economic opportunity that is present right now to become a mass producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen to Asia.
Hydrogen from renewable sources can be injected into existing natural gas grids up to a certain share, thereby reducing natural gas consumption and emissions according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In a report by IRENA in 2018 into the outlook of Hydrogen as a renewable energy source, they discuss how, while not a panacea to all of the issues around transitioning to renewable energy, hydrogen will play a major role in reducing emissions particularly if subsidies and tax rebates are directed from fossil fuels to renewables to deal with the short term initial cost differences.
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