How it works
Australian solar and wind energy can now be produced for export, on a truly industrial scale, at world-leading low cost.
After more than 200 years of using hydrocarbon fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), we've forgotten that it is the hydrogen, rather than carbon, that provides most of the energy.
The single largest source of hydrogen? Water.
Water, as we know, is H2 (hydrogen) and O (oxygen). By passing an electrical current through water - a process called electrolysis - we can separate the hydrogen and the oxygen into separate gas streams.
Capture the hydrogen, and there is your energy. No carbon, just clean, pollution-free energy.
Electrolysis is not new - it has been used in industry for well over 100 years. So what's different now?
As the world turns increasingly to renewable energy sources, the challenge has grown to find ways to store variable power like solar and wind, so it can be used anytime, whether or not the sun is up or the wind is blowing.
A major new industry in energy storage technologies has emerged in response - and while batteries are a vital part of this, they don't provide the solution for all situations.
If we want to store renewable energy at truly industrial scale, if we want to store the energy for a long time (as a secure reserve), or if we want to transport the energy in bulk, we need another solution.
This is why, around the world, hydrogen energy storage has become a major new part of the energy industry.
By passing renewable energy through water, we produce 'renewable hydrogen'. We have, in effect, stored the renewable energy in the form of hydrogen gas, made from water.
And, once stored as gas, renewables are no longer variable, no longer dependent on the sun shining or the wind blowing. Once in the form of gas, renewable energy is just like fossil fuel, but without the carbon.
Once stored as renewable hydrogen gas, renewable energy can then be liquefied - making it possible for the first time to transport renewable energy, in bulk, at large industrial scale, domestically or internationally.
Renewable hydrogen and renewable ammonia - carbon-free energy security