I recently wrote about a vast future market for merchant ammonia: transporting carbon-free energy from Australia’s deserts to Japan’s electricity grid.
Now, however, it is clear that Japan could face international competition for Australia’s solar-ammonia resources. Jeff Connolly, CEO of Siemens Pacific, wrote last month about his ambitions for ammonia as an energy export commodity.
“Germany is phasing out nuclear and coal as it heads towards strong CO2 targets. Security of gas supply is critical – measures adopted by the government include the diversification of supply sources and transmission routes, stable relationships with supplier countries and long term gas supply contracts.
Australia has abundant resources in LNG and will rival Qatar in LNG exports by 2020. And Australia has abundant potential resources in solar and wind with suitable areas multiple times the entire land mass of Germany …
We have more potential resources than we could possibly use … but how do you export renewables?
It currently takes about 12 MWh of electricity to produce 1 tonne of renewable ammonia (containing 176 kg of H2). Cost trends are very favourable for RNH3 (renewable ammonia) following large declines in the cost of solar energy and emerging efficiencies in electrolysis.”
Jeff Connolly, CEO at Siemens Pacific, Can Australia export renewable energy to support geopolitical stability?, 12/21/2016