Next generation renewable energy development company Southern Green Gas Limited (SGG) is pleased to announce it has secured $2.2 million to develop its ground-breaking renewable methane product.
SGG has entered into agreements with leading Australian energy infrastructure company, APA Group (ASX: APA), for the funding and development of a $2.2 million project to demonstrate the production of renewable methane.
Under the agreements, the project will receive $1.1 million in funding from ARENA, as part of ARENA's Advancing Renewables Program. APA will be the recipient of this funding, and will match the ARENA funding with a further $1.1 million. APA has contracted SGG to design, build and test the project.
The project is expected to take two years to complete, and will be located on APA land at the major Wallumbilla gas hub in southern Queensland.
Subject to the successful outcome of the demonstration project, SGG and APA intend to jointly develop commercial renewable methane projects. To facilitate this, SGG and APA have also entered into a Commercialisation Deed whereby APA will undertake the build-own-operate role, on an exclusive basis for ten years. SGG’s role will be to develop the projects, coordinate manufacture of process modules and secure customers for the methane.
Renewable Methane Process
The process combines renewable hydrogen, made from water and solar energy, with CO2 extracted from the air. The CO2 extracted from the air offsets the CO2 emitted when the methane is used, thereby making the whole energy system carbon neutral.
The process is modularised, to facilitate mass manufacture and therefore minimise component and production costs. The project will involve a module as shown diagrammatically below.
Commenting on the initiative, SGG’s Managing Director Rohan Gillespie stated:
“The reason we have chosen methane as the carrier for renewable energy is the ability to utilize the existing gas infrastructure system. The existing gas pipeline network allows us to access customers here in Australia, as well as export customers such as Japan and South Korea, through the existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) system. We believe renewable methane offers the best solution to creating a major new export industry for Australia, leveraging its globally competitive advantage in solar energy.
APA, being the owner and operator of most of Australia’s high pressure gas pipeline system, is the logical partner for SGG. We are delighted to be partnering with them.
We also acknowledge the important contribution from ARENA and its commitment to advancing renewable energy.”
The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.
The proposed field trial will initially involve the production of renewable hydrogen comprising water production from air and electrolysis from solar power. At a later date the intention is to expand the field trial to include CO2 production from air and combining hydrogen and CO2 in a methanation reactor to produce pipeline quality renewable methane.
The field trial is proposed to be located at one of Enwave’s Victorian network sites in regional Victoria.
Subject to success of the field trial, SGG and Enwave may enter into a Market Development Agreement, where they may jointly pursue Australian renewable gas market opportunities – both hydrogen and methane – using SGG’s technology. This could involve market research and discussions with potential customers, to understand the requirements and size and growth of the market.
Commenting on the agreement, Southern Green Gas’ Managing Director Rohan Gillespie stated “This is an exciting development for SGG. Enwave Australia is a multi-utility that designs, builds, owns and operates water, gas and energy networks for entire communities in Australia. They acknowledge the growing desire of energy users to consider lower carbon-intensive sources, and are well placed to service this demand.”
A prospectus will not be lodged in relation to the offer. Only investors exempt under s708 of the Corporations Act are offered the opportunity to participate in the Offer. An Information Memorandum is available upon request. The closing date is 11 December 2019. K S Capital acts as Financial Adviser and Lead Manager.
Contact either Rohan Gillespie - firstname.lastname@example.org or Greg Wood, K S Capital on +61 (0)416 076 377 or at email@example.com
SGG would like to draw your attention to an opportunity of national significance for Australia. As is widely acknowledged, Australia has a global competitive advantage in the generation of solar electricity in regional areas, in terms of quality (high sunlight intensity, few rainfall days) and quantity (abundant low cost flat land in high sunlight intensity areas). This in turn can allow the production of hydrogen at comparatively low cost.
To capitalise on this advantage and build a new export industry, a means to transport the hydrogen from Australia’s inland regional areas to major markets is required. One solution that is potentially being overlooked is renewable methane.
Renewable methane, produced from the reaction of hydrogen with CO2 extracted from the air, is carbon neutral and being fungible with natural gas can utilise all the existing natural gas infrastructure. That means renewable methane can be piped to the coast using existing pipelines, and shipped overseas through the existing LNG system – potentially to the 40 countries that currently import LNG.
The key technology that unlocks this huge potential is the extraction of CO2 from the air. This technology is moving quickly out of the R&D realm into the commercialisation phase. New adsorbents with superior storage capacity and low energy requirements offer scope to extract CO2 at an all-in-cost less than $50 per tonne.
Renewable methane can solve the intermittency issues with solar generation. It can be produced 24/7 by incorporating hydrogen storage.
Not only can renewable methane be readily reformed back into renewable hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles, it can also be used as fuel for existing gas fired power stations. This allows the generation of dispatchable renewable electricity.
Southern Green Gas is proposing the renewable methane solution. It is backed by a team with a deep knowledge of energy markets and technology commercialisation. We have a credible plan to make renewable methane cost competitive. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this is more detail.
Southern Green Gas has achieved what it believes to be a world’s first – renewable hydrogen produced with sustainably sourced water. This has been demonstrated on the campus at University of Newcastle and announced at the Australian Hydrogen Forum.
Using technology developed by Professor Moghtaderi’s Group at the University of Newcastle, water is extracted from atmospheric air. This becomes a critical feature as the expected location of hydrogen production is in high solar but arid regional areas of Australia. This issue was highlighted in a recent study by Jacobs.
This milestone is a key step for Southern Green Gas as it seeks to realise its business plan to develop renewable methane. Being fungible with natural gas and carbon neutral, renewable methane is a ground-breaking product that could create a completely new industry – seaborne renewable energy.
A copy of the presentation to the Australian Hydrogen Forum is provided below.
Equipment for the renewable hydrogen module, sourced from local and international partners, is installed at the pilot location and commissioning is now underway.
The latest news on Southern Green Gas and the progress of the pilot will be at the Australian Hydrogen Forum, 18-20 September, Sydney. Rohan Gillespie, Managing Director, will be speaking on Day 2 about the pilot progress and successes. Come along to the morning Q&A session on the 19 September to hear the latest news. Find the program here.
Southern Green Gas and Enapter, an international manufacturer of modular hydrogen generators, announce their partnership to jointly develop solar powerfuels in Australia.
Joint Press Release
Southern Green Gas and Enapter have announced a partnership to jointly drive the development of solar powerfuels in Australia, calling time on fossil fuel-based energy generation. Solar powerfuels are synthetic, gaseous or liquid fuels produced from renewable energy sources. They are the missing link to bring renewable energy to the heating, transport and industry sector for domestic and export use.
Southern Green Gas proposes to showcase its solar powerfuel at the demonstration project in southern Queensland. The project will comprise solar electricity to power an Enapter EL 2.0 that splits water into its component gases, hydrogen and oxygen. The green hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide extracted directly from the air to create renewable methane.
“Solar is an incredible success story in Australia and globally”, said Rohan Gillespie, Managing Director of Southern Green Gas. In Australia, solar irradiation levels are amongst the highest in the world. “We now have the technology to capture solar energy in the form of 100% sustainable methane gas which is more easily stored and distributed than electricity”. Southern Green Gas assessed all the available suppliers of electrolysers globally. “We have been scanning the market for a suitable partner and are convinced that Enapter’s solution is a perfect fit for our approach”, Gillespie stated.
“We are very excited about this partnership”, stated Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, Chairman of Enapter. “The scale of the project allows us to reduce prices for our hydrogen electrolysers to extremely compelling levels. Ultimately this solution could create a major export market, and ultimately allow Australia to become self-sufficient in transport fuels”.
The partnership was announced just days after the Energy Networks Australia released a report confirming that injection of hydrogen into the gas distribution network can be done under current gas legislation providing confidence for investors and businesses in the space.
Enapter, Vaitea Cowan, firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 30 25814 7916
Enapter manufactures highly efficient, modular hydrogen generators using Anion Exchange Membrane electrolysis. Its core technology has a 10-year proven track record. It is the foundation for the unique low-cost, compact electrolyser. The EL 2.0 is fully stackable and easy to integrate with the Energy Management System. Enapter systems are used internationally in industries like telecommunications, mobility, energy. The team combines electrochemical and IT expertise to drive the Hydrogen Economy in hardware and software. Enapter has offices in Berlin, Pisa, Bangkok and St Petersburg.
Commenting on the EnergyQuest prediction of a critical gas shortage for Eastern Australia due to declining production from Bass Strait fields in the south and coal seam gas fields in the north, Southern Green Gas’s Rohan Gillespie talks of his company’s role in the emerging hydrogen economy and their aim to have price parity with fossil based natural gas by 2025.
Respected energy consultant EnergyQuest is forecasting a critical gas shortage due to declining production from both the Bass Strait fields in the south and the coal seam gas fields in the north. “The east coast faces a double whammy of insufficient gas in both the north and south” EnergyQuest Chief Executive, Dr Graeme Bethune, warns.
A report titled East Coast Gas Outlook to 2036 states an urgent need for LNG import projects in both Melbourne and Sydney to counter the risks of a growing gas shortages.
Commenting on the report, Southern Green Gas’ Rohan Gillespie stated; “We started our business targeting renewable energy markets, especially the emerging hydrogen economy, for domestic markets and as a way to export Australia’s sunshine. With this release, Southern Green Gas sees a major market in Australia just to supply existing gas markets. We now have an aim to be price parity with fossil based natural gas by 2025 – just to in time to address this predicted shortfall.”
Read the full report: www.energyquest.com.au/reports
Managing director Rohan Gillespie speaks to Beyond Zero radio about the launch of Southern Green Gas and its renewable methane project to make hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.
Southern Green Gas are planning renewable methane projects to make hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.
The recent partnership with APA Group is key to unlocking this opportunity. APA Group own and operate 15,000km of natural gas pipelines in Australia and existing gas transport infrastructure will get the fuel to customers.
“We’ve got access to all of Australia plus 40 countries globally” Rohan explains.
“Australia’s great and unique position is that we have fantastic sunlight and we’ve also got an LNG export industry. So not only is this brilliant for Australia, because it could displace diesel and petrol imports (we import about $30 billion of those fuels each year), this could also be a very significant export market”.
Many of Australia’s trading partners are at the forefront of introducing alternative fuels and have a mandate to reach renewable energy targets by 2030.
When asked about the limitation on this technology, Rohan said “There really are no bounds on how much we can produce because we have so much flat land, in high sunlight areas, near gas pipelines.”
Listen to the full interview.