Five-year runway to hydrogen power in airports
A new report from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO shows that clean hydrogen can significantly reduce aviation emissions with potential benefits seen within five years.
By 2035, hydrogen could provide much deeper decarbonisation when used in conjunction with existing airport and aircraft infrastructure, and could then support a complete transition from conventional jet fuel around 2050.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the disruption to air travel caused by COVID-19 had caused the industry to rethink their paradigm and recover to a different "normal".
"As we see travel resume, hydrogen presents a key solution to enable a sustainable recovery for the industry using liquid renewable fuel, and to grow future resilience from threats like oil shocks," Dr Marshall said.
"CSIRO's 2018 breakthrough in fuelling hydrogen-powered cars with liquid renewable fuel has created opportunities for industries to supercharge their decarbonisation by investing in hydrogen.
The global aviation industry consumes 3.2 times more energy than the whole of Australia each year and has widely adopted a target of reducing their emissions by 50 per cent based on 2005 levels, with no net increase after 2020.
A range of sustainable fuels could assist in meeting the emissions target, and hydrogen-based fuels represented a key path to sustainable transport.
While COVID-19 has had a major impact on the sector, the report takes a long-term view, presenting a meaningful way to recover while prioritising sustainability.
CSIRO's 2018 'National Hydrogen Roadmap' noted that Australia's hydrogen industry is set for rapid scale-up, with cost competitiveness within reach.
This new report examines global applications, while highlighting the opportunity for national demonstration projects and continued innovation.
CSIRO is undertaking a broad range of hydrogen-related research, with a focus on reducing emissions associated with transport, energy production, and exports.
CSIRO's goal is to build a clean and competitive hydrogen industry delivering economic benefit and a secure and resilient energy system in support of Australia’s transition to a low emissions future.