As another year draws to a close, there is no more opportune time for some self-reflection. And reflecting upon this year, we can safely say, it was a year like no other.
Without question, 2020 was a challenging one in so many ways as the world faced an unprecedented crisis grappling with a pandemic that has changed our lives in innumerable ways. Yet, in the midst of this battle, which we are still enduring in many parts of the world, a turning point has taken place. There has been a realisation that we need to get the world back on a more sustainable footing.
Governments worldwide now focused on revitalising their economies, are in turn, placing clean energy at the forefront of their approaches with the intent to create a brighter future for all.
This year saw some significant milestones in the advancement of the world’s growing climate focus. Japan and South Korea announced they will be carbon neutral by 2050, China signalled 25% of energy consumption will come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, and the UK, France, and Sweden declared they would end international financial support for fossil fuels just to name a few.
On the corporate side, we saw Microsoft commit to being carbon negative by 2030, BP announced it will cut it fossil fuels output by 40% by 2030, and closer to home, Macquarie Bank confirmed it’s aligning its portfolio to meet net zero emissions by 2040.
In this context, Southern Green Gas is pioneering our technological approach to decarbonisation during an unprecedented time.
The shift in perception to the reality of the climate emergency is creating exciting opportunities for the business as we work towards establishing cleaner global energy supply chains, and developing a new approach to capturing, using and storing CO2 directly from the atmosphere.
This year has therefore certainly been a busy one for the Southern Green Gas team and a highly productive one too as the business continues to raise the profile of our technology as a solution to the climate dilemma.
We’re pleased to share some of our key highlights of 2020 below.
ARENA backed our first demonstration project
May saw the announcement that Australian Government grant agency, ARENA would contribute $1.1 million to our renewable methane production demonstration plant with APA Group.
To be based at APA’s Wallumbilla Gas hub in Queensland, the project will produce hydrogen from solar energy and water, and then converted to methane using CO2 extracted from the air to be injected into existing gas infrastructure.
Through the project, we aim to be the first to market with exportable renewable energy, and thereby accelerate a global trade in renewables.
ARENA’s backing for the project was testament to our vision for a renewable LNG sector and we were thrilled our technology was recognised by the Australian Government at such an early stage of the company’s life.
Our R&D partner successfully proved a key piece of our technology portfolio
September saw one of our key technologies successfully validated by our R&D partner, University of Newcastle. In an industry first, the system combines solar energy with water harvested from air to manufacture low-cost green hydrogen.
Led by University of Newcastle Professor Behdad Moghtaderi, the technique overcomes some of the challenges limiting domestic production and availability of hydrogen fuel.
Known as the Hydro Harvester, the innovation is a central part of Southern Green Gas’ technology portfolio enabling us to make renewable fuels, such as green methane in a truly sustainable way.
The technology will feature as core part of our pilot project with APA set to go into operation in 2021.
We completed a successful capital raise
In October we announced we had completed an equity capital raise to accelerate the development of our technology portfolio.
Leading venture capital investors Artesian Venture Partners and Victorian Clean Technology Fund participated in the capital raise which will advance our product and market development activities.
The investment by Artesian and VCTF further supports the confidence we have in our technology and business model, and our ambition to create a market for renewable fuels in Australia and beyond.
We held the first of our webinar series
As a part of an emerging sector, being an educator on the energy transition is an important part of what we do as a business. So, in November we kicked off the first of our webinar series with a focus on the global opportunity to decarbonise natural gas through renewable methane.
We were delighted to be joined by a range of international and local speakers including our project and technology partners APA Group and Enapter.
We had an excellent response to the event with attendees from around the world eager to learn more about the role of renewable methane in the energy transition.
So all in all, albeit a challenging year, it was a significant one for Southern Green Gas.
2021 will see us pursue additional demonstration projects, targeting a pilot tapping into the growing negative emissions marketplace, conduct another capital raise to accelerate our business growth and continue to secure partnerships with organisations from across the global energy supply chain.
We also look forward to hosting a demonstration event to showcase our hydrogen generated by water captured from the air to refuel a Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in early 2021.
Finally, we would like to thank our partners, investors, supporters, friends and family for all of your support.
We very much look forward to an even bigger year in 2021!
Southern Green Gas was thrilled to host its first webinar this week with a range of industry speakers discussing the important topic of the decarbonisation of the gas sector through renewable methane.
We were delighted to be joined by both local and international speakers providing their perspectives of the projects, technologies, business models and government support that will be needed to enable this exciting new sector in Australia and around the world.
A big thank you to our panellist, including Jim Snow of Oakley Greenwood, Hannah McCaughey of APA Group, Dr Frank Graf of the DVGW Research Center, Thomas Chrometzka of Enapter and Southern Green Gas' own Rohan Gillespie.
A recording of the webinar and panellist presentations can be found at the links below.
We look forward to sharing details of our next webinar in February 2021, this time focused on the potential of negative emissions technologies as Australia's next export opportunity. Stay tuned for updates.
Southern Green Gas joins two leading industry associations as we advance the marketplace for renewable gas
Southern Green Gas is on a mission to raise the profile of renewable fuels and cement their role in the energy transition. We recognise that educating stakeholders across government, industry, civil society and the community is an important first step in the journey towards realising the potential of these carbon neutral energy products.
Knowledge sharing forms a key part of our stakeholder engagement strategy as we pursue our manufacturing and energy generation business model. To learn more about this and the markets we are targeting, see our latest infographic, available for download below.
Southern Green Gas receives backing from leading venture capital groups towards breakthrough technology for hydrogen export
Leading venture capital investors Artesian Venture Partners (Artesian) and Victorian Clean Technology Fund (VCTF) participated in the capital raise which will advance Southern Green Gas’ product and market development activities as it looks to scale renewable methane and methanol production in Australia.
Artesian is Australia's largest and most active early stage venture capital firm. Through its Clean Energy Seed Fund, Artesian, in collaboration with government owned green bank, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, are investing in novel clean technology companies, with Southern Green Gas the latest addition to its portfolio.
“Artesian is delighted to support a homegrown renewable gas technology. Southern Green Gas is forging the way towards a new export opportunity for Australia.”
VCTF, which similarly targets clean technology enterprises, aims to commercialise solutions that address significant environmental and resource issues such as greenhouse gas emissions. The support for Southern Green Gas aligns with their investment mandate.
VCTF Chair, Joseph Younane, states that “Southern Green Gas is one of the key initiatives in exploring the challenges of creating new fuel sources from renewable energy. VCTF is pleased to be involved in supporting this promising technology and the team behind it.”
Southern Green Gas Managing Director, Rohan Gillespie said: “The investment by Artesian and VCTF further supports the confidence Southern Green Gas has in its technology, which leverages existing infrastructure to deliver clean fuels for use domestically and for export.”
Southern Green Gas’ expansion of its activities come at an important point for the advancement of clean energy in Australia and hydrogen in particular, with governments at all levels prioritising the development of a hydrogen industry aiming to create a new export commodity.
As the most effective hydrogen carrier, renewable methane presents an enormous opportunity for Australia to reach its national objective to be a top three supplier of hydrogen into Asian markets by 2030 and realise its economic stretch target - “H2 under 2” or hydrogen under $2 per kilogram.
By 2050, it is anticipated that the Australian hydrogen industry could create around 7,600 new jobs and up to $11 billion a year in additional Gross Domestic Product.
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.”