Hydrogen Applications

Hydrogen: The Clean Fuel of the Future

The appeal for hydrogen has long been obvious because it is the most common element in the universe. Hydrogen is the fuel of the future and will play a key role in western governments moving to decarbonise industries due to its variety of applications and adaptable nature.

Hydrogen to Transform the Transport Industry

Accompanying this increase in global demand for hydrogen has been the advancement in capabilities, specifically the rise in fuel cell technology. This technology has propelled hydrogen to the forefront of renewable energy and has become a leading alternative for multiple industries.

In addition, advancements in technology, and increased consumer demand, has seen emissions-free vehicles enter the market at an affordable price and offer increased performance. This current market, coupled with the comprehensive refuelling network being built in Australia, will undoubtedly see a significant push for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to become the road standard.

Some of the benefits of hydrogen vehicles include but is not limited to:

Long-lasting power:

  • Due to chemical reactions generating power, hydrogen vehicles have proven to operate for twice as long as battery-powered vehicles.

Industrial use:

  • Hydrogen vehicles offer a sustainable solution for industrial vehicles as electric batteries have proven too big for large cars or aviation use. Hydrogen fuel cells evade these challenges providing a direct route to decarbonise the countless industries requiring heavy vehicles.
  • The United States had over 30,000 fuel cell powered forklifts operating in 2019, while it is projected that 100,000 will be in use by 2030.

Is Hydrogen the New Diesel?

As hydrogen technologies continue to advance, the question being asked is, “Can hydrogen be the new diesel?” Due to its quick and more economical production, ease of transportation, and ability to provide a stable, clean electricity source, hydrogen will take over diesel as the preferred fuel for electricity generators.

Hydrogen offers a sustainable solution with improved range and operating time. This will allow sectors such as construction, hospitals, and remote communities to easily transition from diesel generators to hydrogen.

Benefits of hydrogen as the new diesel:

Market share: Diesel currently maintains a significant market share, providing 41% of transport and electricity generation in Australian mining. This creates a unique opportunity for hydrogen to enter the market and become the primary energy source as high-growth industries move to emissions-free fuels.

Government approval: Political and social norms are shifting towards cleaner alternatives. The Australian Federal Government has backed hydrogen as the new diesel alternative, with its release of a National Strategy for production of the gas. The strategy confirms that hydrogen will be a commercially viable renewable energy source by 2025.

Renewable energy generators: The introduction of hydrogen power will result in the transformation of off-grid electricity systems to cutting edge renewable energy generators.

Long-term growth: Due to the shift in social and political norms towards clean energy, hydrogen provides a long-term sustainable alternative. As such, it is predicted that it will overtake other non-renewable electricity sources in the long term.


In recent years, we have seen the majority of western governments commit to decarbonisation by 2050, or in some instances, by 2040. This global commitment to net-zero emissions has turned minds to hydrogen fuel as a strong alternate energy source. With this increase in demand, it is expected that hydrogen will play a vital role in Australia’s transition from high-emission electricity to clean, renewable sources of energy, such as hydrogen.

Benefits of hydrogen energy to assist with decarbonization initiatives:

  • Unlike “clean” diesel, which still emits significant amounts of greenhouse gas, hydrogen releases zero emissions.
  • Hydrogen provides a sustainable substitute to non-renewable fuels, significantly reducing global CO2 emission levels.
  • Hydrogen offers an alternative method to support other renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy.

Supporting Renewable Energy Sources

Unlike most primary renewable energy sources, hydrogen produces a reliable energy source irrespective of factors outside the consumer’s control, such as weather cycles. As a result, hydrogen can be used as an interdependent energy source or to stabilise other renewables to optimise their use. Hydrogen can also be used to power seasonal storage, increase demand response, and a number of different applications.

KPMG reports that by 2050, hydrogen technology will reduce the cost of electricity to AU$27 per MWh in many locations. On a cost-by-cost basis, hydrogen electricity generation systems can compete with diesel-solar and solar-battery hybrid systems.

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