Hydrogen: the power player for our future

There’s much work to do to realise its potential, but hydrogen is ready to be a decarbonisation hero and ABB has proven technology across the value chain.

When Australia announced its National Hydrogen Strategy in November 2019, the vision was to create “a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry that benefits all Australians”.

As former Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel said in his opening address to the UNSW Energy Future Conference in October 2021, “enter stage left the hero, hydrogen”. Dr Finkel is a long-time advocate for developing a hydrogen-energy industry in Australia and is now special adviser to the Australian Government on low-emissions technology. He outlined the potential, the challenges and the policy support to unlock Australia’s hydrogen economy, adding, “the scale of the opportunity, it truly is almost beyond imagining, but let’s give it a try”.

At ABB, we push boundaries to reimagine what’s possible and can support the bold ambition for hydrogen in Australia. We have decades of expertise working across the hydrogen value chain, with deep global experience working in oil and gas, with the chemicals sector and the power generation industry, to name a few of the key areas.

We are looking forward to collaborating with partners as the burgeoning hydrogen industry evolves in Australia. It’s a diverse ecosystem, stretching from energy generation for homes and industry, from powering heavy haul trucks, light vehicles and public transportation fleets. ABB is developing technology for hydrogen-powered marine vessels. We are confident that one day it will fuel planes. For Australia, hydrogen can also be the fuel to export our wind and solar power.

Azipod propulsion system

ABB can partner on projects from concept to design to delivery of current technology, with numerous solutions across every step in the hydrogen value chain.

Our ability to offer in-country support from our own team of highly qualified field engineers is something that ABB regards as both a point of difference and a vital part of building this ecosystem and sovereign capability in Australia. Our deep engineering skills enable us to create bespoke solutions for our customers and be on hand to look after them for the life of the project.

ABB is also renowned for our expertise in safety controls in the power industry, another  critical factor for the hydrogen industry. Hydrogen, as we know, is an extremely volatile fuel and we have to advance both the ability to bring down the price of hydrogen per kilo and the confidence of both industry and the public in its security and safety.

We suggest that the best way of doing that is to work with a single vendor, reducing the number of interfaces. ABB control solutions, such as the ABB Ability System 800xA are extremely powerful and can sit over the top of the entire process. These systems are designed to be flexible, enabling operators to bring alternative fuel sources into their current generation pack.

ABB has technologies ready to deploy today and is actively investing in the hydrogen breakthroughs of the future. We work to make sure our customers are able to deploy the technology that is the best fit for their operations as we build and deliver solutions that suit their needs today and enable them to expand as our hydrogen ecosystem grows, along with their own role in it.

It’s a truly exciting space, and we’re looking forward to showing how Australia can become a leader in this global ecosystem.

Michael Calvert , Sales Director, Energy Industries Division ABB, will be presenting at The Australian Hydrogen Conference, 31 May – 1 June 2022.

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About the author

Michael Calvert

Michael has over 30 years leading sales and delivery teams in the process automation market, he currently leads the Process Automation Sales Team for the Energy Division of ABB. Michael is an experienced strategic sales leader with a demonstrated history of client co innovation. Adept in the use of the latest social media selling tools to deliver real disruptive market share growth. Seen by external and internal clients as a consultative solution focused trusted advisor. Having led many sales and delivery teams with varying sizes of P&L has provided a realistic and grounded approach to goal setting and people management. Michael is ultimately focused on delivering sustainable growth through ethical and client outcome focused behaviors.
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