ASX Renewable Energy Stocks: Victoria puts plan in place to ditch gas and go electric
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Victoria released its Gas Substitution roadmap over the weekend, encouraging residents to embrace sustainable alternatives to fossil gas as part of its plan to drive down the cost of living and halve emissions by 2030.
Amid a national energy crisis, the state government said more than 2 million Victorians currently use gas in their homes and business – more than any other state or territory in the country.
Focused on enabling choice and removing barriers to entry, Victoria’s Gas Substitution roadmap aims to provide discounts for energy efficient products, rebates for hot water, solar PVs and batteries, as well as improve construction supply chains.
“Until recently, fossil gas was considered a lower carbon transition fuel,” the government said.
“However, the transition of the electricity grid to 100 per cent renewable is well underway and accelerating.
“This transition will involve guiding an orderly decarbonisation of the gas system over the long term and the Roadmap represents the start of this journey.”
Building on the record $1.6bn investment for Victoria’s clean energy future in 2020, the Roadmap is complemented by $331 million in the 2022-23 State Budget to reduce emissions, secure Victoria’s energy grid and drive down energy prices and phase out existing incentives for all residential gas products by the end of 2023.
It includes several initiatives to help households and small businesses invest in modern, highly efficient electric appliances and transition away from old gas appliances.
The government said this roadmap represents this first package of actions which will promote choice and address outdated regulatory barriers to deliver more all-electric homes and buildings.
At the centre of the transition to efficient, electric homes, is the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program, which will evolve and expand in 2022.
The VEU program has provided households and businesses with discounted energy efficient products for more than a decade and the program will now be strengthened to support the shift to electrification.
Australian hydrogen hopeful, HXG, says it has made progress on its WA H2 hydrogen based blue ammonia project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region with a focus on four key elements.
These include securing gas supply for blue hydrogen feedstock, securing land for site location in the company’s preferred NW coast of WA, finalising agreements around access to CO2 sequestration capacity, and conversations with offshore customers and funding partners.
While the developments are subject to confidentiality and not announcement ready, Hexagon has entered a mandate with Equity Lifting Solutions for various services, including a potential gas supply for the project.
For stage one, the project will consume up to 21TJs/day of gas for conversion to hydrogen increasing to 71TJs/days for full scale production.
Hexagon plans to source power from renewable sources to minimise the sequestration capacity required and, as part of its hybrid approach, to ultimately maximise the renewable nature of the process as technology and economics permit.
In terms of securing land, HXG says an application has been submitted with the Western Australian Government to secure an allocation at a Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) at a coastal development on the Northwest Shelf, which is estimated to take another 2-3 months to be processed.
Discussions with two large corporations are underway – these organisations are progressing CO2 sequestration and storage projects as part of their existing businesses in the North West Shelf.
HXG says it is hoping to finalise a heads of agreement with one of these groups in the coming months.
Emerging mineral processing tech company ZEO has been accepted as an industry partner into The Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for the Global Hydrogen Economy.
Led by The University of New South Wales and in collaboration with the University of Queensland, the project aims to develop a sustainable hydrogenation process for converting captured CO₂ and green hydrogen into syngas and value-added hydrocarbon fuels such as methanol.
The metal-based zeolites utilised in the hydrogenation process will be produced using Zeotech’s proprietary low-cost mineral processing technology.
By storing energy from large-scale renewable energy projects as hydrogen, or hydrogen derivatives such as methanol, global economies could expand the reach of renewable power and repurpose it for use in other sectors, ZEO said.