Monday, December 4, 2017

Toyota will build the first megawatt-scale hydrogen fuel and renewable generation plant



Toyota will build the first megawatt-scale hydrogen fuel and renewable generation plant, setting a new energy benchmark that experts hope with pave the way for Australia's hydrogen industry.

Toyota North America will build the plant to support its operations at the Port of Long Beach, in the US, using agricultural waste to generate electricity, water and hydrogen.

By 2030, between 10 million and 15 million cars and half a million trucks will be hydrogen-powered globally. Photo: Peter DaSilva

Dubbed the Tri-Gen facility, the plant will generate around 2.35 megawatts of electricity and close to one tonne of hydrogen per day, providing enough daily power for more than 2300 homes and 1500 hydrogen-powered cars.

It will come online in 2020, and be used as proof of concept for large-scale hydrogen generation and renewable energy plants.

"Tri-Gen is a major step forward for sustainable mobility and a key accomplishment of our 2050 Environmental Challenge to achieve net zero CO₂ emissions from our operations," Toyota North American group vice-president for strategic planning, Doug Murtha, said.


CSIRO principal research scientist Michael Dolan told Fairfax Media this plant was a benchmark for the industry.

"Once someone goes first it paves the way for others, and hopefully this is something Australia can learn from," Mr Dolan said.

The CSIRO recently announced its intention to make Australia a hydrogen fuel world leader, investing millions into research using renewable energy such as solar, instead of biowaste, to generate hydrogen.

CSIRO energy director Karl Rodrigues told Fairfax Media the research would put the nation first in the region.

"This is a great opportunity to take a global leadership position," Dr Rodrigues said.

Australian National University associate professor Ron Pace said Australia was making strides forward with hydrogen fuel technology.

He said a group from ANU and the University of Wollongong was creating a "completely novel" process based on nature to generate hydrogen and water.

"We hope to see it start to emerge next year," Dr Pace said.

South Australia has also put hydrogen forward as a pillar of its new energy plan.

"Hydrogen offers an opportunity to create a new industry in South Australia where we can export our sun and wind resources to the world," South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said.

"Our Hydrogen Roadmap aims to have South Australia at the forefront of hydrogen development in this region within the next decade," he said.

"Within two years, commuters in Adelaide will be able to ride on the first of a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses using locally produced fuel. Within three years, South Australia will have the capacity to export its first hydrogen supplies produced using our renewable energy assets."

A recent industrial roadmap developed by the Hydrogen Council – a consortium comprising nearly 30 industrial, energy and automotive companies – found that by 2030, between 10 million and 15 million cars and half a million trucks will be hydrogen-powered globally.


It forecasts annual hydrogen demand to reach almost 80 exajoules (80,000 petajoules) in 2050, accounting for 18 per cent of total final energy demand under the Paris Agreement plan.