What about the bright orange flame we mentioned earlier?
“Hydrogen burns with an invisible flame, but in practice, the impurities in the air make it appear orange. In the future we will likely add an odorant, just like we do with natural gas, as well as a colorant so flames can be seen and leaks can be detected by smell – just like natural gas, ”says Raman.
Other types of renewable gas, such as biomethane, will appear just like natural gas is today.
“Our networks are also predominately polyethylene (plastic), which is suitable for 100 percent renewable gas.”
And, says Raman, we won’t have to rush out and buy new appliances – nor will we have to throw perfectly good ovens, barbecues and hot water heaters into landfill.
“Biomethane works with existing appliances, whilst for hydrogen, blends of up to 10 percent – and potentially higher, up to 20 percent have been tested by projects internationally – hydrogen can be used with existing appliances,” she says.
Once the blend over hydrogen goes over 20 percent some changes to appliances will be required, she says.
“This can just be managed by making sure new appliances in the market are hydrogen ready – just like they are looking to implement in the United Kingdom.”
“Appliances manufacturers are already working on making appliances ‘hydrogen ready’ so the changeover process should be simple.”
As more households and businesses take up a greater proportion of clean hydrogen gas, economies of scale will kick in, driving down the cost further, she says.
AGIG is calling for government backing and incentives, including support from the building and manufacturing industry to “help build consumer confidence, bring down costs and get hydrogen to market faster”.
Meanwhile, natural gas is getting even cleaner, thanks to renewable gas.
“In South Australia we are already blending renewable hydrogen into the natural gas supply, with more projects on the way.
“It also means customers retain their choice of energy supply, and those industries relying on gas can continue to access it.”
AGIG has a long history serving Australians, says Raman.
“Our origins date back over 150 years and are experts in developing and operating gas infrastructure safely and reliably.
“Our commitment to safety underpins everything we do, and we must be satisfied that our renewable gas demonstration projects are safe before first production.
“These facilities demonstrate how we can deliver sustainable outcomes for supplying gas, done so with extensive consultation with local communities so queries and concerns are addressed.”
These projects aim to deliver a highly replicable model enabling the decarbonisation of more than 5.2 million gas connections in Australia, she says.
“The rewards of transitioning to renewable gas are to help achieve the Australian target of net-zero emissions by 2050,” says Raman.
“Renewable gas will allow the 6.5 million domestic gas users in Australian homes and businesses to continue to enjoy the reliable, lowest cost decarbonisation renewable gas in their home.”
Raman says it’s important to note that using gas is not in conflict to emissions reductions.
“Modeling shows that using gas in your home is still lower emissions than electrifying your appliances and importantly, renewable gases can be delivered by the existing networks, so there is a pathway to zero-emissions gas in the future.”
UK gas network SGN are supplying 100 per cent green hydrogen to the pilot housing estates known as H100 Fife. This world-first green hydrogen-to-homes heating network on the Fife coast of Scotland is already underway in the energy-hungry British Isles.
“Central heating is responsible for up to a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas output: a challenge that must be solved if we are to meet the legally-binding net zero targets set by the UK Government and Scottish Government,” an H100 Fife spokeswoman says .
“Switching carbon-emitting natural gas to green hydrogen, which doesn’t produce carbon when it burns, is one of the ways that we can keep homes and businesses warm and safe while making ground in the fight against the climate emergency.”
Under the plan, hydrogen gas will be produced by electrolysis using green electricity from offshore wind turbines to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
“The hydrogen is then stored in secure tanks before being transported through our network. to customers. Hundreds of homes will be connected to green hydrogen, ”the H100 Fife spokeswoman says.
“Reducing carbon emissions and meeting our net zero targets is one of the most significant challenges facing the UK and the whole world and decades to come.
“Delivering our 100 percent hydrogen network will be a big step towards meeting that global challenge. And it all starts here. ”
AGIG’s Raman says: “For Australia, the sooner we start getting behind renewable gas, the better.”