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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 628 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 June 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on


628. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Regional Development:

Following the minister's answer to question without notice 603, asked on 11 June 2019, stating that hydrogen can be produced using wind or solar photovoltaic for $11 per kilogram, I ask the minister to confirm the current prices, not including excise or GST, of the following.

(1) The cost of 100 megajoules of energy in hydrogen is approximately $9.17.

(2) The cost of 100 megajoules of energy in diesel is approximately $2.52.

(3) The cost of 100 megajoules of energy in petrol is approximately $2.01.

(4) The cost of 100 megajoules of energy in coal is approximately 34�.


I thank the member for the question.

(1)–(4) Typically, the energy cost of fuels is compared on a dollar per gigajoule basis. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development advises that the costs the member has quoted are roughly correct, except for petrol, which is approximately $31 per gigajoule before excise and GST, or roughly $3.10 by the member's measure.

A more important metric for transport fuels is the cost per kilometre. For example, the Council of Australian Governments' Energy Council's August 2018 briefing paper, ''Hydrogen for Australia's Future'' states —

          A petrol car using 8 litres per 100 km at A$1.40 per litre costs 11.2 cents per km

          A hydrogen car using 1kg hydrogen per 100 km at A$11 per kg costs 11 cents per km

Therefore, that is cheaper. This is because a hydrogen fuel cell car has significantly higher energy efficiency than a car with an internal combustion engine. In any event, although renewable hydrogen is currently generally more expensive than fossil fuels, as we have said before, those costs are coming down rapidly and the real benefits are the reduction in greenhouse gases, which is what our trading partners are chasing.

I just say for the member's benefit, I really do urge him to get with the program. This is absolutely not something with which we are out there on our own. We have BP, Shell, Fortescue Metals Group and BHP all getting on board. Indeed, I table the document titled ''Hydrogen and Mines''. There is a conference being put on by the mining industry next week to explore the opportunities to use renewable hydrogen in the operation of mines.

[See paper 2779.]