Words & images I Nadia D’Hart, Peel Development Commission
The Hydrogen Society of Australia with the support of Innovate Australia celebrated the 3rd Hydrogen Day event on the 8th of October this year in Perth. As the Hydrogen Day movement started in the US, October 8th (10.08 in American date format) was chosen in reference to the atomic weight of hydrogen.
This event celebrates Australia’s contribution to the development of green energy hydrogen and helps raise awareness of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies as well as the emerging hydrogen opportunities in Western Australia.
As a founding member of the Perth and Peel Hydrogen Cluster, the Peel Development Commission had the opportunity to share the Cluster’s vision to help establish the Peel region as a leading developer, enabler and adopter of hydrogen technologies.
“Our goal is to enhance companies’ individual and collective innovation and competitiveness in the global market, and build Australia’s future technology and workforce in Renewable Hydrogen. Our Cluster membership now comprises a mix hydrogen producers and service providers, as well as Government, Industry and the Training sectors. We are delighted to see our membership growing,” the Commission’s Nadia D’Hart relayed to the 150 conference attendees participating either in person or online.
“We have some pretty significant users of energy in this sector but also enormous opportunity for hydrogen utilisation. We are currently in the process of engaging with these companies to try and get understanding of their energy transition and decarbonisation strategies and their view on the role of renewable hydrogen in that journey.”
The Peel presents the opportunity to encourage innovative start-ups, small to medium enterprises and become a location for hydrogen commercial demonstration and pilot projects to support the existing mining, manufacturing, agricultural and food production sectors which are big employers in our region.
For example, the Peel Business Park is designed to be 100% renewable energy precinct employing an existing solar and battery micro-grid which can be expanded as the park grows. The industrial-scale micro-grid is a first of its kind in WA. Within the Peel Business Park applications for H2 utilisation include food processing in the form of high temp heat, hydrogen energy storage could be used to support the micro-grid, and there will be opportunities for hydrogen in transport and logistics to support the Park.
There are also opportunities to support hydrogen to access circular economy activities by using waste streams as inputs for production of hydrogen, and other industries utilising biproducts that emerge from the hydrogen production process. For example, using agricultural waste or even wastewater as biomass to produce hydrogen and other products such as graphite, which can be used in battery manufacturing.
With access to several ports, agricultural waste products, industrial land for technology development and testing, as well as an extensive road and logistics networks, Peel certainly has a lot of opportunity to engage with the hydrogen economy as well as add value to other supply chains. Front and centre will be bringing the Peel community along for the journey and developing the workforce. The Cluster is currently guiding training opportunities for the university and TAFE sector to ensure we have a pipeline of capable people to support the emerging hydrogen industry.
Peel Development Commission: Phone (08) 9535 4140 or go to the Commission website www.peel.wa.gov.au
Perth and Peel Hydrogen Cluster please contact: Phone (08) 9550 3291 go to www.h2cluster.com.au
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2021 edition of Peel magazine – read the full article and, if you haven’t already, download the latest edition of the Peel magazine here