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Australian body launches renewable hydrogen certification scheme

Out-Law News | 11 Dec 2020 | 7:18 am |

Australia's Smart Energy Council, an industry body for solar, storage and smart energy, has announced that it will develop a certification scheme for renewable hydrogen, renewable ammonia, renewable metals and other hydrogen derivatives within Australia.

The Zero Carbon Certification Scheme will certify that renewable hydrogen, green ammonia and green metals have been produced from renewable sources and will provide an embedded carbon rating.

The scheme aims to boost the uptake and distribution of renewable hydrogen, green ammonia and green metals in Australia and around the world, including by giving information to customers on the source of their products and how they are made.

George Varma, an energy expert at Pinsent Masons, the firm behind Out-Law, said, "The Zero Carbon Certification Scheme is an excellent initiative and yet another example of Australia's global leadership in the renewable hydrogen space. We expect that the scheme will assist greatly to build the legitimacy of this exciting emerging industry."

The scheme is currently intended to be based on the industry-led 'CertifHy' scheme in Europe. 

The plan follows the Australian Government's 2019 National Hydrogen strategy as well as similar strategies launched by Australian states such as Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.

The plan will operate as three parallel certification types for renewable hydrogen, green ammonia and green metals. In order to be certified under the scheme, hydrogen products and derivatives must be made using renewable sources which are eligible for Federal Government Renewable Energy Target certificates. 'Blue' hydrogen, or hydrogen made from fossil fuels, will not be covered by the scheme.

Hydrogen Australia will pilot the certification scheme before seeking to extend its operation more widely, both domestically and internationally through bilateral agreements.