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Taranaki H2 Roadmap Update Showcases Latest Progress

Venture Taranaki has released an update to the Taranaki H2 Roadmap. The updated report details progress and changes that have occurred since the Roadmap’s original release.

The Taranaki H2 Roadmap, launched in March 2019, was a pioneering document commissioned by Venture Taranaki as an integral part of its regional strategy work. It discussed the role hydrogen could play in New Zealand's transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 and highlighted the proactive and leading role Taranaki could adopt in this space, including a series of Taranaki-based projects that could lay the groundwork for the nationwide development of the hydrogen sector.

"Hydrogen is a key focus for us here in Taranaki. This latest update provides an overview of the developments we have underway, and the progress made since the roadmap was released in 2019. Along with a summary of the progress against our Taranaki-based projects, the report includes updates of hydrogen developments across New Zealand and the international stage," says Justine Gilliland, Venture Taranaki Chief Executive.

"When the H2 Roadmap was developed, the type of projects that could be envisaged in Taranaki included the use of hydrogen to power heavy transport or underpin industry such as the production of new greener products and services, and was seen as quite futuristic, almost far-fetched. Yet, in a relatively short period of time, much has already been achieved. This is a real credit to the ambition of our entrepreneurial Taranaki enterprises described in the update we’ve just released," continues Justine.

Achievements include work on the roll out of a hydrogen refuelling network and the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) trucks and buses to New Zealand by leading local Hydrogen experts, Hiringa. There is also the green-hydrogen and ammonia project driven by Hiringa and Ballance, where the two companies plan to build wind turbines to produce renewable electricity and enable the production of up to two tonnes of green hydrogen per day. The resulting green hydrogen can be used to produce ammonia, or 7,000 tonnes/annum of urea from the existing Ballance production plant at Kapuni, and/or used directly for hydrogen fuel cell transport, displacing the need for imported fossil fuels.

In addition to the above, a H2 study by Firstgas which considered the possibility of utilising its gas networks to distribute hydrogen has also been completed and is now progressing to the next stage of distribution network blending trials. These trials involve blending up to 20% hydrogen into several gas distribution networks with the project currently underway and scheduled for first hydrogen into the pipeline in the second half of 2022. Following successful trials this is anticipated to be extended to a 20% blend across the distribution networks from 2030 to 2035, potentially moving to 100% hydrogen by 2050. The use of hydrogen in this manner could see a reduction of total emissions from the energy sector of 25 per cent, not including transport, by 2050.

"After the release of the 2019 H2 roadmap, other investments and investigations have also commenced nationally," adds Anne Probert, Venture Taranaki GM Regional Strategy and Sectors.

"For example, Air New Zealand and their aircraft manufacturer Airbus have recently announced they will be conducting research into the future of hydrogen-powered aircrafts. This could be part of their fleets by 2030, which could dramatically reduce the emissions of shorter domestic and regional flights. Auckland Transport is currently operating a hydrogen fuel cell bus, and Emirates Team New Zealand have signalled a commitment to driving hydrogen innovation in the marine industry by developing a hydrogen-powered chase boat for the 37th America’s Cup".

"While it's important to celebrate the progress achieved in such a short period, it also highlights how fast the world is moving. We must ensure Taranaki and New Zealand continues to monitor and leverage opportunities, and that investment continues to be supported and encouraged," says Anne.

"The hydrogen sector is set for significant international growth and it is widely seen as one of the important components of our global decarbonisation efforts." says Justine.

"As we look towards our transition to a low-emissions energy future and with our current infrastructure, skills, and expertise within the region, we're well positioned to play an integral role in this rapidly moving field. The Taranaki H2 Roadmap and its projects are one way to extend our energy landscape through involvement in such innovative solutions for current and future generations," concludes Justine.

To read the Taranaki H2 Roadmap Update Spring 2021 report please visit the Venture Taranaki website: https://www.venture.org.nz/projects/h2-taranaki-road-map/

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