An international commitment to fast-track the development of hydrogen energy worldwide has again put the focus on research to boost the role of Queensland and Australia in the new energy market.
The recent Hydrogen Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo, which brought together ministers and delegates from more than 30 countries including Australia, announced a plan to set up 10,000 hydrogen refuelling stations worldwide within 10 years.
The meeting in Tokyo follows the International Energy Agency’s recent report The Future of Hydrogen: Seizing Today’s Opportunities, that said the number of hydrogen-powered cars on the road worldwide was expected to grow from the current figure of 11,200 to 2.5 million by 2030.
A Geoscience Australia report also recently released on Prospective Hydrogen Production Regions of Australia identified there were more than 200,000 square kilometres of land rated as having great prospects for supporting renewable hydrogen production.
QUT will be at the forefront of Australia’s push to promote hydrogen fuel, with the announcement in September that it will host the state’s first hydrogen refuelling station at the Kelvin Grove campus.
The state-of-the-art station will be able to refuel hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in under three minutes. It will be used by hydrogen cars added to the Queensland Government’s vehicle fleet as part of the $19 million Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024.
QUT is also leading a $7.5 million research project to establish a pilot plant producing green hydrogen fuel at the Redlands Research Facility. Earlier this year, QUT partnered with Japanese petroleum conglomerate JXTG to produce and export green hydrogen to Japan.
Professor Ian Mackinnon, from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments, was recently appointed as the strategic hydrogen advisor to the Queensland Government.
“The University’s commitment to hydrogen development in Australia facilitated through partnerships and strong working relationships with industry is a key step toward a workforce adequately skilled for expansion of the clean energy sector,” Professor Mackinnon said.
“These projects allow a sustainable transition to the production, handling and use of hydrogen and related technologies within the broader energy industry – attributes that feature prominently in the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy and in the development of the National Hydrogen strategy”.