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Green Globe: Siemens joins 5,000-MW renewable hydrogen project in Australia

SNL Image

Australia is considering the export of hydrogen produced using renewable energy.
Source: AP Photo

German industrial giant Siemens AG is backing a renewable hydrogen project at a combined solar and wind site in Australia.

Hydrogen Renewables Australia, or HRA, is planning to build a combined solar and wind farm with up to 5,000 MW in capacity to produce low-cost renewable hydrogen for local industry and global export. Siemens technology will be used for the project.

"Australia has potential like no other country in the world for hydrogen production and export — as long as we act upon the opportunity quickly," Siemens Australia Pacific CEO Jeff Connolly said in an Oct. 8 statement. "There is a clear appetite for hydrogen around the world due to the energy transition away from fossil fuels and the need to decarbonize industry, transport systems and more."

According to a report commissioned by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, global demand for hydrogen exported from Australia could be over 3 million tonnes each year by 2040. This potential export could be worth up to $10 billion annually to the Australian economy by that time.

Exporting renewable energy is one of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's priorities. Locally, the Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project will also support Western Australia's strategy of using wind and solar resources to produce hydrogen for export to help the emissions reduction goals of international partners and the transition of local industries.

In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Electricity And Water Authority, or DEWA, chose an unnamed contractor that offered a bid of 1.7 cents per kWh to develop a 900-MW solar power plant, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 13.

The tender is for the fifth phase of the 5,000-MW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. According to DEWA, the 950-MW fourth phase of the solar park achieved the lowest levelized cost of electricity in the world, at 2.4 cents per kWh for the 250-MW solar photovoltaic system and 7.3 cents per kWh for a concentrated solar power facility.

For the latest tender, the utility considered only bids lower than 2.4 cents per kWh.

DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer told Bloomberg that its chosen bid for the fifth phase "is the lowest price worldwide." Although DEWA did not name the contractor, a separate report from pv-tech, citing IJGlobal, identified the bidder as the consortium led by Saudi Arabia's ACWA POWER.

Dubai aims to source 7% of its power from clean energy sources by 2020. This target will increase to 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.

Japan's JERA Co. Inc. reached an agreement with Macquarie Capital to acquire a 49% equity interest in an offshore wind project in Taiwan.

The 376-MW Formosa 2 project is set to start construction in October. It is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2021 and will sell power to Taiwan Power Co. under a 20-year contract.

JERA, a joint venture of utilities Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., said the transaction follows its participation in the Formosa 1 offshore wind project. As a result of that transaction, JERA established an operation base in Taiwan to expand business activity and gain knowledge in the construction and operation of offshore wind power generation.

Elsewhere

* SolarEdge Technologies Inc. filed three lawsuits for patent infringement against Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the Regional Courts of Jinan and Shenzhen in China.

* Cubico Sustainable Investments partnered with Latin American energy company CELSIA SA ESP to build up to 400 MW of solar generation in Colombia.

* A Royal Dutch Shell PLC affiliate is building a combined solar, natural gas and battery energy storage system to power its 110,000 barrel-per-day refinery in the Philippines.

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