Plan for zone key

Attilio Pigneri

Attilio Pigneri

KEY note speakers at SALT Festival’s In the Zone Energy Summit highlighted the region’s potential to become a renewable energy exporter and how it could help decarbonise the country’s economy.

Hydrogen Utility (H2U) chief executive officer Attilio Pigneri spoke about the company’s plans for a $117-million green hydrogen facility at Port Lincoln.

Mr Pigneri said when H2U found out about the resource available on Eyre Peninsula it decided to scale up its facility from a 15-megawatt hydrogen electrolyser power plant to a 30MW plant. 

He said when the facility was built, it would be the largest hydrogen facility in the world and would demonstrate and help develop the hydrogen export market.

Mr Pigneri said hydrogen could provide 100 per cent renewable energy, zero emission transport and had added value benefits for agriculture.

He said the facility would also provide a training ground for a “new wave of green hydrogen professionals”.

Zen Energy founder Richard Turner said while South Australia had “missed out” in the fossil fuel era but it had huge renewable potential.

“As the world transitions to renewable energy resources we’re going to be in a really good position,” he said.

“A lot of countries are setting their economies up on hydrogen and they want to purchase that hydrogen from stable countries like Australia.”

Sevenseas Creative director Jack Ritchie said key outcomes from the summit this year were to start developing a strategy for renewable opportunities to create awareness in the community and to fast-track development of the region as a renewable energy zone. 

He said developing a strategy was a logical step toward educating policy makers and the community about  developing opportunities.

“By taking these steps, having these discussions and having a plan, SA and particularly the Eyre Peninsula will be leading the way in the development of the new economy.”