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Australia’s hydrogen Guarantee of Origin Scheme enters trial phase

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Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has developed the Guarantee of Origin (GO) scheme to verify hydrogen production emissions. The scheme has entered into its first trial phase, with 19 trial participants having signed up to help improve the scheme.

The hydrogen GO project will measure and display key attributes of how and where a unit of hydrogen is produced, such as its carbon intensity. This will provide hydrogen supply chains with the data they require to make informed purchasing decisions.

The department is collaborating with industry and key stakeholders on a co-design approach, including a rolling consultation process. Projects in the trial are currently or will soon be producing hydrogen for use as a fuel in buses, offshore industrial activities, and to inject into a gas pipeline for commercial and residential use.

Hydrogen is a versatile, storable, transportable, safe, and environmentally friendly fuel. The burning of hydrogen does not generate greenhouse gas emissions, and the emissions related to hydrogen production can be relatively minimal, depending on the production process.

Many industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and energy generation, have a large untapped market for clean, low-emissions hydrogen. If it can be produced inexpensively on a large scale, the use of hydrogen as an alternative to traditional fossil fuels can be a critical component of reaching emissions reduction and net-zero pledges.

The development of a clean hydrogen sector is critical to Australia’s emissions reduction strategy, and the government has stated that it will invest 1.4 billion Australian dollars (9,84 million) in the industry, aiming at becoming a major exporter of clean hydrogen by 2030. 

The Australian GO scheme is likely to take the form of a certificate scheme, with certification containing four aspects, including production facility and location, production technology, primary fuel source, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with one tonne of the hydrogen produced.

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has been tasked to conduct 18-month industry trials of the proposed GO scheme, which is expected to start in mid-December this year. At the end of the trials, learnings will be evaluated and an appropriate legislative framework for the GO scheme will then be finalized.

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