You are here

bp study confirms feasibility of large-scale production of green hydrogen and green ‎ammonia using renewable energy in Australia

11th August 2021

bp Australia today announced the findings of its study into the feasibility of an export-scale green ‎hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Western Australia.

The study found that the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia using renewable ‎energy is technically feasible at scale in Australia. Its findings also support bp’s conviction that, with ‎its vast potential solar and wind resources, existing infrastructure and proximity to large, long-term ‎markets, Western Australia is an ideal place to develop large scale renewable energy assets that ‎can in turn produce green hydrogen and/or green ammonia for domestic and export markets.

Green hydrogen is produced from the electrolysis of water, using renewable energy. It can be used ‎as a fuel and energy source in hard-to-decarbonize industries. Green ammonia is produced by ‎combining green hydrogen and nitrogen (from the air). Ammonia can be utilised as a hydrogen ‎carrier, providing advantages over transporting pure hydrogen.‎

The feasibility study has provided bp with valuable insights into the potential for green hydrogen ‎and green ammonia production which it will make publicly available as part of a knowledge sharing ‎agreement with ARENA to help progress the development and use of green hydrogen energy.‎

bp will continue to work with key stakeholders to develop plans for integrated green hydrogen ‎projects in Western Australia, working to define the technical and infrastructure solutions, customer ‎demand and business models that would be required for a successful development.‎

Frédéric Baudry, president, bp Australia, and SVP fuels & low carbon solutions, Asia Pacific, said: “bp ‎is putting its strategy in action by accelerating its position in low carbon technologies and providing ‎end-to-end integrated energy solutions for our customers, including hydrogen.

‎“This study confirms the potential for scaled-up green hydrogen in Western Australia. This looks ‎particularly promising in the mid-west of WA, which has existing infrastructure, access to land and ‎abundant renewable energy resources such as wind and solar. Importantly, our study also ‎confirmed strong demand from potential customers in the hard-to-abate sectors, and for both local ‎and export markets. This has the potential to position Australia as a regional powerhouse of the ‎energy transition.‎

“bp strongly supports the Australian government‎’s focus on technology and the Technology ‎Investment Roadmap, which identified hydrogen as priority low-emission technology essential for ‎the decarbonization of industrial processes. I am confident this study will make a valuable ‎contribution to the government's strategy to accelerate emerging technologies, and I thank the ‎government for its support.‎”‎

First announced in May 2020, the feasibility study was supported by GHD Advisory, Lightsource bp ‎and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It simultaneously considered the financial ‎and technical implications for a fully integrated renewable hydrogen and ammonia supply chain.

The study examined the hydrogen supply chain and domestic and export markets at two scales: a ‎demonstration/pilot scale (4,000 tonnes of hydrogen making up to 20,000 tonnes of ‎ammonia) and commercial scale (200,000 tonnes of hydrogen making up to 1 million tonnes of ‎ammonia). It considered three different hydrogen production technologies, and the plant power ‎source was modelled as a mix of solar and wind with some battery support. This renewable power ‎modelling was completed by Lightsource bp.‎

The study highlighted that, depending on the location and scale, significant additional infrastructure ‎investment would be required – particularly for port, electricity and water services.‎

The study found that distribution could be customised to suit customer requirements, including ‎gaseous or liquid hydrogen or ammonia via pipeline, truck, train or ship.

Economic returns were also explored, and it was found that for this to be effectively understood the ‎renewable hydrogen and ammonia markets need to be further advanced. The study found that ‎significant scale will be required for general hydrogen fuel use to be commercially viable.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: ‎“bp‎’s analysis of the economic opportunity presented by renewable ‎hydrogen will help Australia determine how it can be scaled-up to satisfy future demand. The report ‎represents a vital building block in our pathway to creating a fully integrated renewable hydrogen ‎supply chain, allowing Australia to become leaders in a future export industry.”

Jason Fonti, GHD Advisory’s origination and value chain leader, added: “The magic figure is ‎producing hydrogen below $2 per kilo and the pathway to get there is becoming clearer. The study ‎has highlighted that, through innovation, talent, commitment and collaboration, Western Australia ‎can become one of the major exporters of hydrogen in the global market.”

Related topics: