With a need to address environmental UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and new innovations reducing costs, green hydrogen projects are starting to gain more attention and funding so we thought it would be timely to roundup the latest about how this energy efficient power source is being used in the water industry.
What makes hydrogen production green?
When hydrogen is produced with renewable energy sources it is called Green Hydrogen.
Advances in electrolysis, solar and wind power are making green hydrogen production more accessible and affordable to companies globally.
Here is our roundup of what is happening with green hydrogen experimentation in the water industry.
Yarra Valley Water discovers co-locating hydrogen production alongside wastewater treatment reaps rewards
Yarra Valley Water (YVW) in Melbourne, Australia has begun experimenting with co-located hydrogen production at wastewater treatment plants. They’ve implemented treatment technology with engineering company Jacobs that enables YVW to efficiently use pure oxygen at the Aurora wastewater treatment plant to bring down operational costs and subsidise the cost of hydrogen.
They found there was an economic symbiosis between demand for oxygen at Aurora and the commercial viability of the co-located hydrogen facility.
As the hydrogen was produced from recycled water and renewable energy, their pilot program has demonstrated that green hydrogen is commercially viable without impacting drinking water resources.
Hydrogen part of the solution for introducing structural changes post-Pandemic
The Australian Water Association’s Water Source publication featured OzWater Keynote speaker Mechthild Wörsdörfer who spoke about the global opportunity to restructure our infrastructure and technology to reduce energy consumption in the wake of COVID-19.
Wörsdörfer, the Director of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks Directorate said “the world hasn’t seen a decline in energy demand of this magnitude since World War II, with the annual energy demand expected to drop by 6% in 2020.”
The temporary decline in energy use has resulted in declining C02 emissions and Wörsdörfer believes that the case for making structural changes that build on this has never been stronger.
She said that if we’re not careful, we’ll end up using more water, not less, as biofuel production, nuclear power generation and a shift to advanced cooling technologies become more prevalent.
Wörsdörfer believes hydrogen is part of the solution and called for more investment in clean energy technology.
Green Hydrogen to gain traction in Australia with $70 million ARENA funding
ARENA is offering $70 million to build Australia’s first commercial scale green hydrogen projects through the Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. Thus far, projects competing for the funding add up to $3 billion dollars showing strong commercial interest in this renewable energy source.
The funding round follows the Australian Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy release which focuses on “growing an innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry.”
Startup partners with Water Corporation to turn sewage into green hydrogen
After a quick $8.4 million capital raise, Perth-based Hazer Group will start work on “one of Australia’s first biogas to green hydrogen production facilities.”
Hazer will convert sewage waste into green hydrogen. The biogas will be produced at Water Corp’s Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant south of Perth, Western Australia.
Yorkshire Water powers water trucks with green hydrogen, reducing C02 emissions by 1/3
Yorkshire Water in the UK has launched dual-powered water trucks powered by green hydrogen. The trucks are a first step in decarbonising Yorkshire Water’s entire fleet over a 10-year period. The hydrogen is produced using wind power and cuts emissions by a third.
Recyclables convert into hydrogen using plasma heating technology and electrolysis
An energy company in LA is planning to turn disintegrated paper recyclables into hydrogen through plasma heating technology first developed for NASA.
The technology harnesses electrolysis which splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Only a small percentage of hydrogen conversion is done through this method, however the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is banking on this technology being made more widely available in the coming years. They have recently committed to building the world’s first power plant fueled by hydrogen.
In the article, a report released by BloombergNEF states that “renewable hydrogen could meet 24% of the world’s energy demands by 2050, and reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels and industry by one-third.”
What questions do you have about green hydrogen?