The Western Green Energy Hub, an ambitious energy infrastructure project in Western Australia, has signed a significant deal with Korea Electric Power Corporation, South Korea’s largest electricity utility.
Spanning 15,000 square kilometres in the Goldfields-Esperance region, this renewable energy hub aims to house around 3,000 wind turbines and 25 million solar panel modules.
At the heart of this project is the production of green hydrogen, a zero-emission energy source that has gained global attention as countries seek alternatives to fossil fuels.
The partnership between the Western Green Energy Hub and Korea Electric Power Corporation aims to explore the creation of a substantial green hydrogen hub.
WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston hailed the agreement as a major step forward for the project’s completion. He expressed enthusiasm for Western Australia’s position as a leading producer of green hydrogen, noting the competitive advantage it would bring on the global stage.
Once operational, the Western Green Energy Hub is projected to generate an impressive 20 million tonnes of green ammonia annually. Ammonia, which has a higher energy density than hydrogen and a lower liquefaction temperature, offers potential for lower transportation costs.
The demand for hydrogen is expected to skyrocket in the coming years, with the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook predicting a 30-fold increase by 2030.
This surge in demand is primarily driven by Asian countries, particularly Japan, which has prioritised hydrogen in its energy transition plans. Japan recently announced an ambitious target of increasing hydrogen supplies to 12 million tonnes by 2040.
While Australia aims to dominate the global hydrogen trade, it faces stiff competition, notably from the United States, where President Joe Biden has implemented significant incentives to bolster the industry.
However, uncertainties remain regarding hydrogen’s future. Its production requires substantial amounts of power, necessitating a significant expansion in renewable energy generation to meet the demand.
Domestically, Australia is unlikely to be a major consumer of hydrogen, as the country is more inclined to utilise its extensive renewable energy capacity for electricity production rather than hydrogen conversion.
The partnership with Korea Electric Power Corporation positions the Western Green Energy Hub as a key player in the global hydrogen market, paving the way for Australia’s continued growth and collaboration in the renewable energy sector.
With this significant milestone, Western Australia is poised to make a substantial impact on the renewable energy landscape and solidify its position as a leader in green hydrogen production.