Developing Chemistry Together
Renewable Power-to-X (P2X) is an umbrella term for processes and technologies that convert renewable energy into various chemical energy carriers, including hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic hydrocarbons. These green chemicals are produced from water, carbon dioxide and air, rather than oil and gas. They have the same composition as their fossil fuel counterparts but are less emission-intensive, more sustainable and renewable.
At UNSW, we firmly believe that P2X will help the Australian economy transition towards a more sustainable and prosperous future. The country is well-positioned to lead the development of the P2X industry through leveraging its low-cost renewable electricity and the emerging hydrogen economy.
Currently, most renewable P2X products are still costlier when compared to their conventional fossil-fuel-based production processes. Therefore, the more focus and funding we can apply to P2X, the more we will see innovation accelerate the commercialisation and deployment of new technology. As the scale increases, the technologies needed to store and transport excess electrons in chemicals will become more cost-effective.
Schematics of power-to-X infrastructure (taken from ACS Energy Letters, 2020, 5, 3843 - 3847)
Our vision for New South Wales is to bring together industry, government, and academia to increase the state's P2X capability and speed up the translation of these technologies into industry. Preliminary assessments suggest that NSW has competitive advantages—including the rapid development in the hydrogen industry—that would support the commercialisation and up-scaling of other P2X production.
We plan to build the expertise needed to address the challenges and overcome the obstacles that restrict the use of clean fuels and chemicals across their value chains. We aim to boost funding into the research and development of P2X technologies by participating in Commonwealth and international activities and sharing future successes.
If we are to invest in innovation and create market alignment through policy, we need to collaborate. To date, we've garnered support for P2X from a number of State and Federal Government agencies.
In NSW, we're supported by the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and the Department of Regional NSW.
At the Commonwealth level, we are working with National Energy Resources Australia, the Industrial Growth Centre, Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Energy Market Operator.
We're also working with a diverse group of potential industry partners from experts in fossil fuels, renewables and chemical manufacturing, through to downstream end-users, financial investors and developers.
The start of the journey
We've still a long way to go to help Australia unlock the true value of Power to X. It's not a journey we can—nor want—to do alone. The more we can engage and inform, the more we can nurture the innovation needed to support P2X production.
For that to happen, we need you; all of you. So sign up to the NSWP2X Consortium today. Not only will it keep you up to date with the progress of P2X, but it will also be an opportunity for you to have a say in how Australian industry transitions to a more sustainable, renewable and less emission-intensive economy.
Get in touch: Scientia Professor Rose Amal: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Rahman Daiyan: email@example.com