A new supply chain model has been created by a team of researchers from Australia, Singapore and Germany that could be the key to powering the international hydrogen renewable energy industry. Hydrogen is being lauded as the clean fuel of the future, with zero carbon footprint and the ability to be produced from water. However, at present, long-distance transportation is expensive and the infrastructure is inadequate. The researchers’ new supply chain model successfully guides the development of international transport of hydrogen and its volumetric energy.
Associate Professor Kaveh Kalipur of the University of Technology, Sydney, who is responsible for the report, said supply chain design is crucial to making hydrogen economical. The team investigated renewable hydrogen exports from Australia to Singapore, Japan and Germany. The analysis showed that exports were either ‘atomic hydrogen’ or ‘energy hydrogen’, each leading to a different outcome. Thus, a thorough understanding of the entire system is necessary for correct decision-making.
Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources and stable economy mean the country can attract investment, said Professor Iftekar Karimi of the National University of Singapore, co-leader of the project. Hydrogen is expected to help diversify Australia’s renewable energy resources beyond solar and wind power.
A key business question for the hydrogen economy is whether commodities such as green hydrogen, methanol and ammonia can be profitably and competitively exported over long distances and across oceans, enabling green energy. This will also have a significant impact on international energy and climate policy, said project co-leader Reinhardt of RWTH Aachen University in Germany.
“Our model suggests that methanol shows great promise as a chemical carrier for export,” said Professor Madleyner. It will provide low-cost renewable energy from Australia. The team’s research has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Conversion and Management.