Hydrogen doubtful and coal to end by 2050, expert says.

By Sarah Smit

One expert believes COAG’s National Hydrogen Strategy won’t be enough to keep energy prices down in the long term.

James Eggleston, a energy researcher at Curtin university told WAMN News that the COAG Energy Council’s hydrogen strategy fails to address the main factor driving energy prices up- the distribution networks.

“In terms of [Hydrogen’s] role in thefuture energy mix, the jury is still out,” he said.

“Largely for the fact that, although hydrogen is a great pivot for natural gas industries, ultimately it’s still dependent on the supply chains that currently exist.”

Mr Eggleston supports electricity sources like residential solar panels, which produce electricity where it is used and don’t rely on the current electricity grid to get power to homes.

“What we’re seeing with these meetings with groups like COAG is a much more affordable future when you can co-locate your generation asset with the consumer.”

Energy Minister Angus Taylor told reporters on Friday that Australia would continue to burn coal for energy into the foreseeable future, but Mr. Eggleston says that’s economically unviable.

“Coal currently is a part of the generation mix across the country, but what we are starting to see is those coal assets are coming to the edge of their useful life.

“However, would you rebuild that coal fired power station when it comes to the end of its useful life?”

“The economic answer is no.”

Mr. Eggleston highlights a report by produced by the Department for Energy under Josh Frydenberg, which saw a strict timeline on the usefulness of coal in Australia.

“Ultimately the report published by the Frydenberg energy ministry showed that coal comes to an end by 2050 in this country.”

“That’s what federally the government has committed to, and what we’ve committed to internationally.”

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