On May 31, 2021 the New Zealand Government released Ināia tonu nei: a low emissions future for Aotearoa. The document identifies many critical outcomes New Zealand will have to need in order to address climate change.
A key outcome listed in the report is: Improving the efficiency of heavy transport and freight, including through freight optimisation, and increasing the share of rail and coastal shipping. Scaling up low emissions fuels like biofuels or hydrogen-derived synthetic fuels.
Hydrogen technology has the potential to be a key component of addressing climate change in Aotearoa.
Hydrogen has the potential to:
- Store surplus renewable power.
- Help decarbonize sectors like long-distance transport and industries that are hard to electrify.
- Replace fossil fuels – as zero-carbon feedstock in chemical and fuel production.
How ‘green’ is hydrogen?
Because hydrogen is an energy ‘carrier’ – energy must be extracted from it. How this energy extraction occurs determines how ‘green’ the resultant energy is. Hydrogen energy can be grouped into three main categories:
‘Grey’ hydrogen – made from natural gas and mainly used in industry (least desirable).
‘Blue’ hydrogen – made from natural gas, with carbon capture and storage.
‘Green’ hydrogen – made from the electrolysis of water, powered by renewables (most desirable).
Murihiku – ideal for ‘green’ hydrogen production
It takes energy to create energy. Electrolysis-produced hydrogen using zero-emission electricity sources like hydro, wind, and solar is ideal in terms of a clean energy pathway.
A key asset for Murihiku is the Manapouri Power Station and the ability to produce ‘clean’ hydroelectricity. This asset means that Murihiku is well placed to be a key player in hydrogen technology development and implementation, both nationally and internationally.
Read more about the potential of hydrogen:
- Feeling our way towards hydrogen – Tina Schirr
- Developers plot giant clean energy schemes (PDF, 136.78 kB) – Greta Yeoman