Hydrogen plan points way to renewable future

  • Hon Dr Megan Woods
Energy and Resources

The Government is charting the way towards a more renewable energy system with the launch of a national vision for hydrogen, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods announced today.

“Reducing carbon emissions from our energy use is one of the key ways we can fight the long term challenge of climate change. Today we are launching a Green Paper  - A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand  - that lays out the role hydrogen can play in New Zealand’s economy, and what we can do to accelerate its use,” Megan Woods said.

“I consider green hydrogen as one of the potential tools that will help assist us to reduce global emissions.

“With hydrogen, we have opportunities to create new jobs, convert heavy transport away from fossil fuels, enhance our security of electricity supply and even generate significant export revenue.

“For a country blessed with abundant renewable energy, the ability to convert our clean electricity into green hydrogen which can fetch a premium on global markets is a major economic opportunity.

“There’s already clear international interest in hydrogen sourced from New Zealand. Last year, we signed a world-first memorandum of co-operation with Japan to encourage collaboration between us on hydrogen initiatives.

“We’re already seeing significant investment in hydrogen locally, with projects like the joint venture between Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Hiringa Energy to produce commercial-scale green hydrogen in Taranaki  and Tuaropaki Trust’s partnership with Japanese multinational Obayashi Corporation to construct a pilot hydrogen production facility using geothermal electricity near Tāupo.

“The paper is part of a renewable energy strategy work programme which is also looking to address barriers to investment in new renewable energy as we work to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and to transition to a clean, green and carbon neutral economy by 2050.

“This Green Paper discusses how hydrogen could fit into New Zealand’s wider energy and transport system. The paper builds on existing work, identifying the possible applications, benefits and barriers to the uptake of hydrogen in our energy, transport and export sectors. It explores the role that hydrogen could play in different pathways to decarbonisation, and energy resilience.

“Today’s launch is another step in the Government’s plan to tackle the long term challenge of reducing emissions to fight climate change. It sits alongside the Government’s decision to end new offshore oil and gas exploration, our investment in a National New Energy Development Centre in Taranaki, backing cutting edge renewable energy technology, greater support for low emissions vehicles and helping businesses to invest in low emissions industrial processing.”

Submissions on the Green Paper close at 5pm on Friday 25 October 2019.