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!