Brief – 7 September – Leader of the renewable-energy hydrogen research group at RMIT University associate professor John Andrews will outline a vision for a sustainable hydrogen economy in a presentation at the EcoGen 2010 Conference in Sydney tomorrow.

Associate professor Andrews says that the original concept of a “hydrogen economy” was conceived in the early 1970s when concerns were first being raised about shrinking oil, gas and coal supplies.

“Now that we confront the threat of irreversible climate change, as well as a looming deficit between oil demand and supply, this concept needs radical re-envisioning as a truly ‘sustainable hydrogen economy’,” said associate professor Andrews.

“Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources has a critical role to play globally and in Australia as a replacement transport fuel to petroleum, and as a long-term energy storage on our main electricity grids to allow continuous supply from intermittent renewables such as solar and wind.

“Unfortunately there is a lack of understanding by many governments around the world, including our Federal and State governments, of the role hydrogen can play – indeed most current energy policies simply leave hydrogen out,” he said.