Following our support for a national biomethane market in a recent joint letter signed with Bioenergy Australia, WSAA has signed another open letter with Bioenergy Australia, the Australian Hydrogen Council, and over 50 supporting businesses and organisations, calling for the prioritisation of renewable gas in Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap.
This recognises the potentially large role water utilities can play in decarbonising the economy through both biomethane and other emerging fuels such as hydrogen. As a transition fuel, biogas could form up to 9% of Australia's total energy needs, though it currently forms just 0.5%.
Importantly, support and advocacy for this platform has come from both WSAA and from individual water utilities such as Sydney Water, Hunter Water, Yarra Valley Water and Gippsland Water.
With the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) committing over $9m in funding to the Hazer project in partnership with Water Corporation in Perth, which will turn biogas from sewage treatment into green hydrogen and graphite, utilities are thinking seriously about the future of co-located hydrogen facilities with sewage treatment and recycled water production.
Yarra Valley Water's Aurora Treatment Plant in Melbourne's north is looking to become a renewable energy hub with food waste co-digestion producing enough biogas to power 2000 homes. A recent white paper between Jacobs and Yarra Valley Water shows that co-locating wastewater treatment with hydrogen production can support the economic case.
These projects from Water Corporation and Yarra Valley Water will be presented at an upcoming WSAA webinar on hydrogen for the Climate Change, Energy & Environment Network, on Monday 31 August 2020.
This open letter will provide a platform for energy industry discussions with the Federal government on supportive policy settings.