Carbon neutral, Hydrogen, Opinion, Zero emissions

Transitioning road transport from diesel to hydrogen will have lasting positive impacts


The impact of transitioning road transport and logistics from diesel to emission-free hydrogen will have lasting positive impacts beyond improving air quality that will limit increases in the cost of living.

Australia is a vast nation, and our supply chain economy is dependent on road transport to bridge the regions with major centres.

The flow of goods, produce, livestock and minerals is two-way; produce from the regions travels to central locations for broader distribution, and produce and goods travel back from distribution centres in major cities to the regions.

The price of diesel is determined by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over which Australian users have no control, and it fluctuates.

As prices increase, they are passed on to the road transport companies which in turn, pass them onto their customers who in turn charge the consumer higher product prices; it’s a cost-of-living merry-go-round.

This scenario has been in play since the early 1960s, but when renewable hydrogen and fuel cell trucks powered by hydrogen are available in 2025, a new chapter will begin with hydrogen targeted to be delivered at a price that equates to that of diesel in 2025, and predictable thereafter to align with the CPI; fixed costs for green hydrogen production will be able to be forecast for years.

A further bonus is guarantee of supply. At times, Australia has been perilously close to running out of diesel and should that happen, the impact would be devastating on supply chains and everyday living.

Home-produced hydrogen eliminates this threat with Australia capable of producing hydrogen in volumes that follow demand.

To do that Countrywide Hydrogen is progressing its Hydrogen HyWay (HH) model with the first HyWay being in Tasmania as a showcase for the rest of the nation. A second identified HyWay links Melbourne with Adelaide via Warrnambool, Portland and Mount Gambier.

In selecting target locations for a Hydrogen HyWay, we study heavy transport data to identify where emissions from road transport are heaviest, and where hydrogen production facilities coupled with refuelling stations will be required to meet demand.

With HH#1 across Tasmania due to reach FID this half year, work has already commenced on HH#2 on the mainland where some of the Tasmanian customers also have operations in the plantation timber and dairy sectors.

  • Geoff Drucker is the CEO of Countrywide Hydrogen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASX-listed company ReNu Energy Limited that develops renewable hydrogen projects in Australia and abroad.

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