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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1471 asked in the Legislative Council on 28 November 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

NATIONAL HYDROGEN STRATEGY

1471. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Regional Development:

I refer to the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council meeting held recently in Perth at which ministers backed a national hydrogen strategy, supporting the development of a clean, innovative, competitive, technology-neutral and safe hydrogen industry and established a hydrogen working group.

(1) What does technology-neutral mean?

(2) What fuel sources or types of fuel did COAG agree would be used to produce hydrogen?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the very interesting question.

(1)–(2) There are three main ways of producing hydrogen. One is through the electrolysis of water. The others are coal gasification and steam methane reforming. It is certainly true that the federal COAG strategy encompassed those three styles of producing hydrogen. On coal gasification, ''Australia's National Hydrogen Strategy'' states —

Using fossil fuels means there are carbon emissions, but if these emissions can be captured at a high level and permanently stored, clean 'CCS hydrogen' can be produced.

There is obviously a variety of views about the possibility of carbon capture and storage. We note that the Victorian industry is based very much on the production of hydrogen from coal, with the aspiration towards carbon capture and storage, whereas here our focus is very much on the renewable source. We see that there is some role for hydrogen being produced from natural gas, but really the main aim of the project in our state is to develop the ultimate decarbonised hydrogen.