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  • Monash University and Woodside Petroleum (WPL) have released a report examining how hydrogen energy can be environmentally produced at scale for industry
  • In particular, the energy giant and Melbourne University wanted the study to focus on the viability of hydrogen production in Australia for export to a global market
  • It found under baseline conditions, the greenhouse gas emissions from hydrogen production using solar energy, including both grid and battery backup, were one-quarter that of the popular steam methane reforming hydrogen production process
  • But, sensitivity analysis shows that emissions produced using solar may be comparable to the steam methane reforming method under reasonably anticipated conditions
  • The two parties will now develop an environmental impact and energy assessment tool, so Woodside can begin planning its large-scale green hydrogen production

Monash University and Woodside Petroleum (WPL) have released a report examining how hydrogen energy can be environmentally produced at scale for industry.

The study by Monash researchers was conducted in partnership with the energy giant and focused on the viability of hydrogen production in Australia for export to a global market.

Published in the Journal of Energy and Environmental Science, the study assessed the life cycle net energy balance and greenhouse gas emission performance of large-scale hydrogen production via water electrolysis and solar photovoltaics.

It found under baseline conditions, the greenhouse gas emissions from hydrogen production using solar energy, including both grid and battery backup, are around one-quarter that of the popular steam methane reforming hydrogen production process.

But, sensitivity analysis shows that emissions produced using solar may be comparable to the steam methane reforming method under reasonably anticipated conditions.

“Given the scale of transition in global energy systems needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it is critical that we get the best outcome from the materials used to build large scale energy systems,” Lead Researcher Damon Honnery said.

Woodside Monash Energy Partnership Director Paul Webley added it was critical to identify the environmental impacts of green hydrogen production as a replacement for fossil fuels.

“Understanding the true carbon footprint for hydrogen production is essential to certify the hydrogen for international trade,” he said.

“This study is an important contribution for hydrogen certification and to understand the full impact for the emerging hydrogen economy.”

The next steps for the Melbourne University and ASX-20 lister will be to develop an environmental impact and energy assessment tool.

The tool will enable Woodside Energy to undertake the detailed planning needed to develop a large-scale green hydrogen production in Australia.

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