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A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand

Sep 2, 2019

The "Green Paper: A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand" presents the New Zealand government's perspective on leveraging hydrogen, especially green hydrogen, as a key component in transitioning to a sustainable energy future by 2050. The document highlights global momentum, potential roles of hydrogen in the economy, current initiatives, and seeks feedback to shape the nation's hydrogen strategy.

The "Green Paper: A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand" outlines the New Zealand government's perspective on the potential role of hydrogen in the country's sustainable energy future. Here's a summarized overview:

  1. Introduction and Context:

    • The New Zealand government is committed to achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. This requires a shift from hydrocarbon-based energy systems to renewable energy sources.

    • Hydrogen, especially green hydrogen, is seen as a promising clean alternative to hydrocarbons in the global effort to address climate change.

    • The paper presents the government's vision to utilize hydrogen for a sustainable and resilient energy future for New Zealand. Hydrogen, in combination with electricity, can provide a robust energy system platform to deeply decarbonize the country's energy and transport sectors.

  2. Global Momentum:

    • Many countries, including New Zealand, are exploring hydrogen's potential applications, leveraging their unique resources.

    • There's significant global interest in hydrogen, with countries investing in research, development, and national strategies. New Zealand has also engaged in international collaborations, such as a Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan in 2018.

  3. Hydrogen's Role in New Zealand:

    • Hydrogen can play a multifaceted role in New Zealand's economy, including in energy generation, decarbonizing mobility, industrial processes, and as an export opportunity.

    • Green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, is of particular interest. While it currently has higher production costs than brown hydrogen (produced from natural gas), costs are expected to decrease with technological advancements and scaling up.

  4. Hydrogen Production:

    • Hydrogen is not a primary energy source but an energy carrier. It needs to be produced, and the method of production determines its type (green, brown, blue, or grey).

    • Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water molecules using renewable electricity in an electrolyser. This type of hydrogen aligns with New Zealand's vision of a clean, renewable energy future.

  5. Current Initiatives:

    • Several demonstration projects are underway in New Zealand, involving collaborations between local and international entities, public and private sectors, and iwi (indigenous communities).

    • Examples include the Ports of Auckland's green hydrogen project, the Tuaropaki Trust's geothermal-powered hydrogen pilot project, and the H2 Taranaki Roadmap.

  6. Feedback and Next Steps:

    • The Green Paper seeks feedback on the government's vision for hydrogen in New Zealand and aims to continue the conversation on hydrogen's role in the country's transition to a low emissions economy.

The document emphasizes New Zealand's unique position to harness renewable energy sources for green hydrogen production, which can play a pivotal role in the nation's sustainable energy transition. The government is keen on exploring this potential and is actively seeking feedback to shape its national strategy on hydrogen.

Read the strategy here:

New Zealand Hydrogen Strategy
Download PDF • 4.44MB

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