Green energy is any energy type that is generated from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind or water. As a source of energy, green energy often comes from renewable energy technologies such as solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy, biomass and hydroelectric power.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology
Hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we think about energy and transport in Aotearoa.
Emitting only water, vehicles powered by hyrdogen fuel cells provide a clean alternative to petrol and diesel engines.
Find out about hydrogen technology and climate change.
What is hydrogen?
Hydrogen is the most abundant element on Earth - however there’s a catch. It doesn’t exist as a single atom. For example, even hydrogen gas is actually two hydrogen atoms bonded together (known as a hydrogen molecule, H2).
Hydrogen is known as an energy ‘carrier’ as opposed to an energy ‘source’. Energy carriers contain energy that can be converted to other forms - e.g. to power a vehicle. Before it can be used - hydrogen atoms must first be separated from a molecule containing hydrogen. The most common source molecule is water (H2O).
How do fuel cells work?
At a basic level - hydrogen fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy by converting hydrogen gas and oxygen into water.
Oxygen is readily available in the atmosphere, so it’s only necessary to supply the fuel cell with hydrogen.
To release the energy stored in hydrogen, every fuel cell needs three components:
- Anode - where hydrogen enters and is stripped of electrons. These electrons are what generate electricity (power).
- Electrolyte membrane - the positively charged hydrogen passes through the membrane to the cathode.
- Cathode - oxygen enters the cathode and combines with hydrogen to form water.
Find out more about hydrogen fuel cells and how they work from the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association.
Currently, the greatest challenge for hydrogen production, particularly from renewable resources, is providing hydrogen at lower cost.
Hydrogen - an opportunity for Murihiku
Murihiku Rūnanga leaders Tā Tipene O’Regan, Michael Skerrett and Terry Nicholas, as representatives of Murihiku Hapu and New Zealand Fortescue Future Industries (NZFFI) have signed a collaboration agreement with, to partner in the development of a large scale, sustainable green hydrogen plant in Southland, New Zealand.
The project envisages the construction of an initial +600MW hydrogen plant in Southland which aims to achieve first production in early 2025, with additional plans for significant expansion. The project is targeted for an investment decision by both Ngai Tahu, Fortescue and various New Zealand Investor Boards to occur in 2022.
See the media release: Murihiku Regeneration and Fortescue Future Industries signs collaboration agreement to develop large scale Green Hydrogen plant in New Zealand for more information.
See Bell Bay Hydrogen Cluster for information Fortescue Future Industries’ proposed 250-megawatt green hydrogen plant at Bell Bay, Tasmania.
Murikihu Regeneration is excited to be working in the Green Energy space with staff from Otago University’s Toitū Taiao (Sustainability at Otago) team.
Find out more about Toitū Taiao and Australasia’s only energy-focussed undergraduate degree.
Support from South Maritime Solutions
Dispatch from Down Under
Congratulations to Murihiku Regeneration and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, in particularly to Sir Tipene O’Regan for achieving another milestone in the 180 year long endeavor to reclaim Maori Iwi’s rightful leadership position of mana whenua / place-based responsibility and authority, in this case, over the development of green hydrogen in Murihiku - the tail end of the land - the Southland Region of Te Waipounamu - the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.
As is manifest and in accord with Te Tiriti o Waitangi and affirmed by Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, Iwi are the rightful stewards and decision makers to be called upon to initiate planning for and developing a more ecologically benign and renewable future for Aotearoa New Zealand.
Congratulations also to Julie Shuttleworth, CEO, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) for taking the right first step in her principled statement:
“FFI recognises, respects and upholds the principles of The Treaty of Waitangi. We recognise Murihiku Hapu’s mana whenua of Southland and greatly value their guidance and contribution to the future success of this project.”
It has been a privilege and a blessing, from behind the scenes, to be able to contribute my part and to orchestrate the contributions of the stellar AHA global team to understanding the opportunity and articulating an initial Just Transition-based vision through the good offices of Energy Minister Hon Dr. Megan Woods and Mike Shatford, Strategic Advisor, Office of the Upoko, to the founding leaders of Murihiku Regeneration: Tā Tipene O’Regan, Michael Skerrett and Terry Nicholas.
Special thanks to Mike Horne CEO Fullers360 for financially sponsoring a chunk of the exploration on the green hydrogen supply chain and for his frequent input.
Kia hora te marino, kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te kārohirohi i mua i tō huarahi.
May peace be widespread, may the sea glisten like greenstone, and may the shimmer of light guide you on your way.
Ka kite, Mike