Artist's impression of Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant

The chicken or the egg? How CS Energy’s investment is helping drive the growth of renewable hydrogen

21 Oct 2022
  • Hydrogen
  • Customers

When it comes to renewable hydrogen, the science is clear – it’s clean and a massive opportunity, particularly for heavy transport, and especially for Australia.

And momentum is building as customers and energy companies focus on scaling up this energy of the future.

Executive General Manager of Future Energy at CS Energy Emma Roberts says it may be a case of “the chicken and the egg” when it comes to who moves first, but the company’s investment in renewable hydrogen is designed to help accelerate the growth of the industry in Queensland.

Hydrogen can be used as fuel for transport or heating, a way to store electricity, or as a raw material in industrial processes. When hydrogen is produced using an electrolyser powered by renewable energy it is known as renewable hydrogen or green hydrogen.

Artist's impression of Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant
Image: Render of Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant Side Perspective

Emma Roberts says big energy customers, especially those with large and predominantly fossil-fuelled fleets, see the potential of renewable hydrogen, and are keen to commit to it as part of their cleaner and more efficient energy sources.

She says energy providers such as CS Energy have both the will and the resources to commit to a cleaner fuel future – but the challenge is, who moves first?

“From the energy users’ perspective, where fuel is such a major component of their cost base, they clearly want to invest on their side to be able to use hydrogen. It’s not a debate about the science, just the economics,” Emma says.

“But these energy users, representing more than 80% of the market, are understandably unsure about making such a commitment, which involves significant investments in infrastructure, plant, skills, marketing and many other factors, until they know and are confident that the hydrogen is indeed coming.

“And in the meantime, the producers of hydrogen are reluctant to invest in projects until they know the customers will be on board.

“So yes, it is a classic chicken and egg scenario, but like so many other technological advances in recent years, such as electric cars, we are confident the hesitation will give way to strong and sustained demand that will drive down costs, stimulate investment and ultimately take this exciting new energy of the future deeper into large-scale industrial, commercial and domestic use.”

CS Energy is investing in renewable hydrogen as part of our strategy and to help accelerate the hydrogen industry in Queensland.

We are developing the Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant on the Western Downs. This project includes a refuelling network that will form part of the Queensland Hydrogen Super Highway and has received funding from the Queensland Government’s Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.

Growing the renewable hydrogen sector is also a key element of the government’s recently released Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.