Monash University has developed an open-source economic model in collaboration with Geoscience Australia to assess the financial viability of potential hydrogen operations across Australia.
The Hydrogen Economic Fairways Tool (HEFT) is a free online tool that can perform detailed geospatial-financial analyses of future large-scale hydrogen projects.
The government’s goal of producing hydrogen for less than A$2 ($1.5) per kg could be met much sooner than expected with this new tool.
The speed with which this goal is met is determined by a number of factors, including the rate of technology adoption, cost reductions, hydrogen supply chain configurations, and the availability of supporting infrastructure.
Given an optimal mix of wind and solar PV to maximize the utilisation rate of water electrolysis, the HEFT model calculates off-grid hydrogen production costs as low as A$2 ($1.5)/kg.
Before shipping, adding water and delivery costs would result in a hydrogen cost of just under A$3 ($2.2)/kg.
The tool evaluates not only the quality of energy resources needed to produce low-emission hydrogen, but also the associated rail and road transportation infrastructure, pipelines to export ports, and ready access to water, among other things.
As a result, the two companies believe that the tool could help policymakers and investors make decisions about the location of new infrastructure and the development of hydrogen hubs in Australia.
HEFT’s ultimate goal is to optimize the development of shared infrastructure to facilitate large-scale hydrogen production and delivery while also attracting investment into Australia’s hydrogen industry.
The tool will be expanded to include battery, hydro, pumped hydro energy storage, and delivery infrastructures.