Hydrogen could be powering your home sooner than you think
Australia's first 100 per cent hydrogen-powered home gives us a glimpse into the country's net-zero future.
Developed by the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), the HyHome, located in a display centre north of Melbourne, looks and feels like any normal home. The only difference is that almost all appliances are powered by entirely carbon-free hydrogen.
AGIG CEO Craig de Laine said the development of hydrogen-compatible appliances represented a key step forward in the energy transition, meaning customers could enjoy the benefits of using gas in a low-carbon future.
"We've known of the potential for hydrogen to be part of the renewable energy solution for industry and transport, but to demonstrate that gas appliances in the home can also run entirely on hydrogen is a game changer," said Mr de Laine.
"It provides ongoing choice for households and for the energy transition as it represents an additional source of clean energy to displace emissions and meet our net zero targets.
"HyHome shows that Australians can continue to enjoy the convenience and reliability of gas, while progressively moving towards lower and zero-carbon energy sources."
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AGIG worked with leading appliance manufacturers Rinnai and Electrolux to develop the world's first hydrogen-powered hot water systems, cooktops, and heating systems that are featured in HyHome.
The appliances were installed in a typical Australian home using existing skills and techniques already common in the plumbing industry.
Electrolux Marketing Director Richelle Barker said he was excited to bring hydrogen-powered appliances to the Australian market.
"We strongly believe in hydrogen as a clean, versatile and abundant energy source that has the potential to revolutionise the way Australians power our homes and businesses," said Ms Baker.
"Our hydrogen-powered appliances offer customers a clean and efficient way to power their homes, while also helping to reduce their carbon footprint."
Rinnai Australia Managing Director, Lucas Van Raay, said the world-first appliance was vital to securing a reliable, sustainable future for all Australians.
"With hydrogen, Australian consumers can continue to enjoy the legendary comfort, convenience, efficiency and reliability of Rinnai gas heating and hot water, as they have for more than 50 years, whilst reducing their carbon footprint," he said.
We're (almost) ready for a net-zero future
While phasing out gas in five million homes across the country might sound like a bold pipe dream, new research has revealed that companies like AGIG might be able to pull it off.
A report by the Australian Hydrogen Centre (AHC) found that in South Australia, a move to 100 per cent hydrogen in the state's gas distribution network – up from the 5 per cent renewable gas blend currently supplying 4000 households in Adelaide's south under a pilot program – was "feasible".
Furthermore, it found the state's program could increase the nation's hydrogen production by over 6400 per cent by 2050, create 2,204 jobs during construction and supply 875 ongoing jobs.
According to Mr de Laine, Victoria's current "world-class" gas network also made transporting hydrogen power to homes "entirely possible" with little additional investment.
Pipe dream or not, AGIG has gone all in on the hydrogen industry, with the establishment of Hydrogen Park SA, the largest electrolyser in Australia, the construction of Hydrogen Park Murray Valley and several other renewable hydrogen and biomethane projects in development.
The gas giant says it aims to deliver 100 per cent carbon-free gas by no later than 2050, with at least 10 per cent renewable gas blends to homes and businesses by 2030, in line with government emissions reduction targets.