Taranaki making progress on its path towards a green hydrogen future

Taranaki making progress on its path towards a green hydrogen future


Plans to place Taranaki on the centre of the nation’s transfer to a low-emissions future are making progress, a new report says.

Economic improvement company Venture Taranaki has printed an replace to its 2019 H2 Roadmap, which set out how a hydrogen trade might construct on the area’s present power sector.

In explicit, the roadmap checked out “green” hydrogen, which is made with renewable electrical energy from water and with out greenhouse fuel emissions.

“When the H2 Roadmap was developed, the type of projects that could be envisaged in Taranaki included the use of hydrogen to power heavy transport or underpin industry such as the production of new greener products and services, and was seen as quite futuristic, almost far-fetched,” Venture Taranaki chief executive Justine Gilliland said in a statement.

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“Yet, in a relatively short period of time, much has already been achieved.”

For example, the roadmap looked at hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), which are quicker to refuel, weigh less, and have a longer range than battery electric vehicles.

Ambitions for hydrogen fuel use in Taranaki were initially seen as ‘almost far-fetched’, but have already exceeded expectations.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

Ambitions for hydrogen fuel use in Taranaki were initially seen as ‘almost far-fetched’, but have already exceeded expectations.

New Plymouth-based Hiringa Energy is advancing plans to roll out a nationwide hydrogen refuelling network for FCEVs using Waitomo truck stops.

An initial group of eight refuelling stations will open next year, in New Plymouth Tauranga, Hamilton, Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Taupō and Wellington, with the number set to expand to over 100 by 2030.

Hiringa has also reached an agreement with Hyzon Motors for the supply of 1,500 hydrogen fuel cell trucks over the next five years, and is seeking expressions of interest nationally and internationally for 200 fuel cell buses for New Zealand by 2026.

RICKY WILSON/STUFF

How green hydrogen is made commercially at BOC’s facility in Glenbrook south of Auckland.

In addition, next year the Taranaki Regional Council is intending to explore alternative fuel options for buses, including both hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric options.

In industry, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, which owns and operates the ammonia-urea plant at Kapuni in South Taranaki, is producing about 260,000 tonnes of urea a year for fertiliser using hydrogen produced from natural gas.

Hiringa Energy and Ballance AgriNutrients are also developing at Kapuni a $60 million integrated green hydrogen and ammonia project powered by up to four wind turbines. A consent application has been lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority.

“The green hydrogen will enable up to 7,000 tonnes of urea to be produced per year and will displace imported urea produced from fossil fuels,” the update said.

“It will also create significant volumes of green hydrogen for use in the transport sector, which performs an important role in the agricultural supply chain.”

New Plymouth-based Firstgas Group has completed a study on the possibility of using its networks to distribute a blend of up to 20 per cent hydrogen and will start trials in the second half of 2022.

“Following successful trials this is anticipated to be extended to a 20 per cent blend across the distribution networks from 2030 to 2035, potentially moving to 100 per cent hydrogen by 2050,” the report said.

“The use of hydrogen in this manner could see a reduction of total emissions from the energy sector of 25 per cent, not including transport, by 2050.”

STUFF

Air New Zealand and Airbus have signed a memorandum of understanding to research flying zero-emission hydrogen aircraft in New Zealand.

Outside Taranaki, Air New Zealand and manufacturer Airbus are looking at hydrogen-powered aircraft, which could be in the fleet by 2030s, Auckland Transport is operating a hydrogen fuel cell bus, and Emirates Team New Zealand is looking at driving hydrogen innovation in the marine industry by developing a hydrogen-powered chase boat for the 37th America’s Cup.

Gilliland said the hydrogen sector is set for significant international growth and is widely seen as one of the important components of a low-emissions future.

“With our current infrastructure, skills, and expertise within the region, we’re well positioned to play an integral role in this rapidly moving field.”

Meanwhile, agriculture and manufacturing are mostly behind a big jump in Taranaki’s greenhouse gas emissions, New Zealand’s official data agency has clarified.

In a recent report, Statistics NZ said total natioanl emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane increased by 2.1 per cent in 2019.

But in Taranaki the rise was 4 per cent (235,000 tonnes), nearly double the national figure. Only Waikato experienced a bigger increase, up 7.5 percent (1085,000 tonnes).

In a statement, Statistics NZ initially said the rise in both regions was largely due to an increase in coal for electricity generation and in manufacturing, and to a lesser extent an increase in agricultural emissions.

It later clarified this, listing manufacturing and agriculture as the main drivers for the increase in Taranaki.

Its report said 96 per cent of Taranaki emissions in 2019 were from industry and the rest from households.

The high industry portion was partly due to all New Zealand emissions related to electricity generation from gas being attributed to Taranaki, rather than the end-use across New Zealand.

Venture Taranaki said the region was committed to a low-emissions future, and while there had been a rise in 2019, the total industry and household emissions in Taranaki was fifth overall, behind Auckland, Waikato, Canterbury and Southland.

The Statistics NZ report confirmed emissions in Taranaki from electrical energy, fuel, water, waste companies and mining had fallen throughout 2019, Venture Taranaki added.



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