Cutting Australia's carbon footprint by introducing renewable hydrogen to the gas supply network will be trialled in South Australia and Victoria.
The federal government has provided $1.28 million to Australian Gas Networks to explore the feasibility of blending hydrogen with natural gas through the Australian Hydrogen Centre.
The centre will study a proposal to inject up to 10 per cent hydrogen into the gas distribution network of selected regional towns in South Australia and Victoria.
It will then look at the possibility of widening the trial across the two states as a pathway to 100 per cent hydrogen networks.
AGN chief executive Ben Wilson said the coming decade would be an exciting time for the energy industry in Australia.
He said the company aimed to deliver substantial, measurable and world-leading reductions in the carbon footprint across its national gas distribution business.
“This public licence also requires total transparency so the studies will provide guidance as to both the best solution to deliver renewable gas into our networks,” he said.
As part of its plan, AGN is also building an $11 million hydrogen production facility in Adelaide which should be operational by mid-year.
When completed the company will start injecting five per cent hydrogen into the gas supply of about 700 neighbouring households.
South Australian Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the work with hydrogen fit with the government’s aim to deliver more reliable, affordable and cleaner energy and also produce export earnings from the sector.
“Considering South Australia’s enormous wind and solar resources, we have significant natural advantages that can be leveraged to produce, consume and export 100 per cent green hydrogen,” he said.