South Australia's always been on the front foot when it comes to renewable energy — even Tesla's given it the thumbs-up. On Friday, the state government revealed its "Hydrogen Roadmap", which "sets out clear pathways to capitalise on South Australia’s competitive advantages" and will "accelerate the State’s transition to a clean, safe and sustainable producer, consumer and exporter of hydrogen".
While there's a lot of components to the roadmap, one of the key objectives is to get a small fleet of six buses sorted for Adelaide Metro, which will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The government is currently asking for tenders for production and delivery of the vehicles.
University of New South Wales chemists have invented a new, cheap catalyst for splitting water with an electrical current to efficiently produce clean hydrogen fuel.
According to the roadmap, the goal is to have the first of these buses available within 24 months. The government is also open to other infrastructure projects, for which a $150 million Renewable Technology Fund is available.
In terms of generating hydrogen, the government has a target of 2020, by which time it should have "sufficient production capacity ... from net zero emission sources" for export purposes.
Come 2025, it should be possible for "motorists [to drive] from Ceduna to Mt Gambier in a hydrogen-powered vehicle".