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Key takeaways from MBIE's 'A vision for hydrogen in NZ' green paper

September 04, 2019


Partners Gerald Lanning, Matt Conway, James Winchester
Special Counsel Mark Baker-Jones

Climate change (inc Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme)

This week the Government released its hydrogen green paper, A vision for hydrogen in New Zealand, which will frame the discussion for New Zealand’s national hydrogen strategy. The paper is driven by New Zealand's national goals to reach 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035 and a carbon neutral economy by 2050.

Background to the green paper

The paper sets out the scope of hydrogen’s potential for use in production and transportation domestically, and the potential to produce green hydrogen for export to hydrogen importing countries like Japan and South Korea. 

In accordance with its obligations under the Paris Agreement, Japan has proposed to cut its GHG emissions by 80% by 2050. Part of its strategy for achieving this is to replace a percentage of is fossil fuel imports through procurement of 300,000 tonnes per annum of hydrogen by 2030 and ultimately 5-10 million tonnes per annum.

According to estimates from the Australian Government, Japan's projected demand will form only a fraction of the 530 million tonnes per annum of global hydrogen demand required by 2050. Indicating that there are significant opportunities for proactive governments and industry participants to get involved.

Next steps

Work has already commenced in New Zealand on hydrogen energy development. In March the Government launched the H2 Taranaki Roadmap which illustrates how the region can become a leader in hydrogen production. The Government is also establishing a National New Energy Development Centre in Taranaki which will also look at energy options, including hydrogen. 

Submissions on the green paper are due by 25 October. Please get in touch if you would like advice on the paper, the submission process, or hydrogen production in New Zealand.