The expansion of Australia’s hydrogen industry and its potential to help combat climate change is the focus of the first Australian Hydrogen Research Conference being held at The Australian National University (ANU) this week.

Professor Ken Baldwin said hydrogen research will be one of the keys to the world’s transition to a renewable energy future. 

According to Professor Baldwin, in a future zero-carbon world, hydrogen will likely be produced using electrolysis – the splitting of the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water – using renewable electricity. 

“Hydrogen therefore has the ability to extend the potential of renewables by storing the energy created by wind and solar power for later use.”

Professor Ken Baldwin. Photo: Jamie Kidston/ANU

Hydrogen can be used as fuel for things like electricity generation and transport, as well as provide a material feedstock for industry. 

“In order to accelerate hydrogen applications like production of green steel, enormous amounts of research is needed across a range of disciplines from science and technology, to human and social sciences,” Professor Baldwin said.

“These drivers will combine to create a future global hydrogen economy – one that will need to develop considerably over the next decade in order to contribute substantially to curbing the disastrous effects of climate change.

“For comparison – the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry took many decades to develop, but the constantly deteriorating climate doesn’t allow the same timescale for the hydrogen economy.”

The inaugural Australian Hydrogen Research Conference (AHRC) will be held at The Australian National University from 8-10 February.

The conference will be opened by Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Senator Jenny McAllister.

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