What is the role of renewable gas?

In March this year, our EGM Future Energy Emma Roberts attended the 10th annual Australian Domestic Gas Outlook as a panellist and discussed the role and growth of both natural and renewable gas in Australia 

Emma shares some insights on this emerging fuel below. 

What is renewable gas? 

Renewable gas doesn’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions when it is made or used. Examples of renewable gas are biomethane and renewable hydrogen. 

What role could renewable gases like hydrogen play in the power grid?  

Renewable hydrogen has the potential to provide electricity to the grid when other energy sources (such as wind and solar) are not available. 

While blending renewable hydrogen with natural gas will provide lower emissions gas over the coming decade, the objective is to shift towards 100% renewable hydrogen to provide dispatchable electricity, particularly during times of peak demand. 

What are some of the issues to be overcome to make the shift? 

In the short term, it will be important for energy producers to take advantage of declining technology costs and economies of scale to reduce production costs. 

Hydrogen-ready gas turbines will create a demand for hydrogen that encourages increased production capability, in readiness for rising domestic demand from industrial feedstock and the transport industry.   

Renewable Gas
                                    Photo credit: Jacquie Manning

Natural gas and renewable hydrogen are likely to need to co-exist for some time yet, as technology and industry continue to evolve.  

What are the other potential uses for renewable hydrogen? 

Renewable hydrogen shows enormous promise for decarbonising heavy road transport. It even could be applied to marine transport. For example, some of the renewable hydrogen produced at our Kogan demonstration plant will be exported to the Republic of Palau as part of a multi-party project to assess its use in fuel cells and marine vessels.  

There are also emerging markets such as sustainable aviation fuel which could provide near-term opportunities.  

It is now up to the electricity and gas industry and governments to invest and explore all the options as we transition to Net Zero and consider the export potential of Australia in the future. 

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Learn more about the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook here