Often mentioned in powerful terms as the key to unlocking a global green energy revolution, hydrogen is not looking as green – or as global – as it once was. Many early-stage projects that planned to rely on H2 have been scrapped, and there are growing voices from within the industry downplaying hydrogen’s supposed superpowers. 


So what’s the problem? 

Part of the issue has to do with energy density and the effect of Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). 

Simply put, the effort to produce, store, ship, and use green hydrogen may require more energy than it saves. This realisation has spelled doom for many highly-publicised projects, including Fortescue’s plan to field hydrogen haul trucks at its Australian mines. A plan now scrapped in favour of electrification. Another major project at risk is CWP’s and now BP’s 25GW Australian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH). 

If the AREH were operating today, it would be the world’s largest power project, producing 1.8 million tonnes of green H2 annually while requiring 1.5 -1.8TW of upstream renewables to function. 

Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?


The scale is hard to fathom. 

Developers everywhere are now walking back their large-scale hydrogen plans after many with unclear business cases and fantastic promises of low-cost hydrogen muddied the waters. In the meantime, companies will return to the hydrogen drawing board to ensure it’s all worth the effort.  Snowy 2.0 Keep Digging Itself a Deeper Hole (sort of). On sheer volume of negative news, the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project is the gift that keeps on giving. With a forecast cost blowout from $2bn to a whopping 12bn, and with a 143-metre long tunnel boring machine (TBM) bogged under a mountain since last year, the project is under the pump, to say the least. But despite the significant hurdles, it may still become the hub of Australia’s renewable energy generation and storage hopes. Perhaps as an instruction never to call something a “Nation-building” project, Snowy 2.0 is now due for completion – and to produce its first power – in 2028. With a TBM that’s unearthed everything from a giant sinkhole to toxic gas in just 150 meters of progress, a project that may seem doomed.  

However, it was undertaken for a reason, and experts in the field say that an ultimate budget of $12bn could be about right, considering Snowy’s energy generation and storage capacity. Pumped up as able to power three million homes for a week, it makes you wonder why the initial quote was so cheap and that perhaps with a bit more foresight, planning and understanding of the complexities, the Snowy project may have avoided some of its pitfalls so far.  Australia and the US Agree to $4bn Critical Minerals Deal on a visit to the States, his first as prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, has unveiled an agreement to see $4bn pour into expanding critical mineral production. The co-plan aims to allow both nations to expand their emissions reduction programs and secure access to a selection of highly sought-after minerals – primarily mined in Australia. According to Albanese, the agreement was signed at a recent G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan and will open access to Australia’s supply of lithium, cobalt, vanadium, copper and nickel. 

“The Act will actually assist the objective, which is a reduction in emissions, a growth in new industries, growth in manufacturing here,” Albanese said.  “We’re in a strong position as the world’s largest supplier of the minerals that will power the globe in the 21st century.” 

“And we want to work, as well, with US companies. We want to see announcements in that space, like the announcement that we’ve had here today, to benefit both of our nations,” he added. 


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