Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, By US Department of Defense - media.defense.gov (Creative Commons Image), Public Domain, Link

Queensland Government Backs Coal and Green Hydrogen

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What do you do if you need the votes of coal miners, but also need the votes of inner city climate activists? Try to please both, of course.

Qld government backs coal and gas industries while unveiling green hydrogen projects

Queensland will keep supporting fossil fuels despite green energy advocate Andrew Forrest acknowledging coal and gas are in decline.

Alex Druce
October 11, 2021 – 12:39PM

Queensland has made its second major clean energy announcement in two days but remains tight-lipped on whether the state’s green credentials are being undermined by its support for fossil fuel extraction, including the coal and gas industries. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday again stood with iron ore magnate turned green energy philanthropist Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest to announce a partnership between his Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and ASX-listed fertiliser firm Incitec Pivot. 

The two companies will team up to assess whether it is possible to convert Incitec’s ammonia production facility on Gibson Island near Brisbane into a hydrogen-powered operation.

FFI also plans to construct an on-site electrolysis plant to produce 50,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year for conversion into green ammonia.

But despite talking up Queensland’s “industrial green revolution”, the state government remains staunch in its support of coal and gas.

Ms Palaszczuk’s government famously struck a deal with Indian miner Adani for royalties from its controversial $2bn Carmichael mine just days before last year’s October election win.

And she again reiterated her support for fossil fuels on Monday, even after Dr Forrest declared the sector was “in decline”. 

“In Queensland, we support the people who work in the coal industry,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Read more: https://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/news/qld-government-backs-coal-and-gas-industries-while-unveiling-green-hydrogen-projects/news-story/a2e5ad14f341c11c5ace74d9009ca03a

Backing fossil fuels and renewables at the same time might seem schizophrenic, but it is actually less deranged than most of the plans on offer. Despite the wasted money on uneconomic green energy schemes, at least the coal power will keep flowing – which is more than you can say about most places run by green zealots.

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Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 11, 2021 2:16 pm

All you can do is hope she keeps coal on the front burner and mostly pays lip service to windmills and solar panels. If she can keep this juggling act going for a few years it might be enough to see the Green stupidity collapse as sanity is restored to the world.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pamela Matlack-Klein
Gary Pearse
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 11, 2021 2:53 pm

Yeah, if you keep 500million tpy of coal production and give them 50,000t of hydrogen for your sins, go for it. Maybe use hydrogen blimps to transfer coal from mine to ships making coal greener! When you have de-educated designer-brained idiots, they might just go for it.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 11, 2021 4:06 pm

Yeah, I’m hoping that too. We’re opening up all the shuttered coal mines, coal prices are going through the roof, demand is insatiable, it’s probably the only thing that will prevent Australia joining the global economy collapse caused by irrational covid policies, and still we have numpties telling us we have to leave it in (or indeed, on) the ground.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 11, 2021 5:29 pm

The Premier is not to be trusted to do the right thing. She is the queen of spin and BS. Her government has demonstrated over many issues that it has little knowledge and understanding of anything other than what their political benefit is.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 11, 2021 5:41 pm

We are sure to have green hydrogen as soon as pigs fly. This will only take aeons of evolution!

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
October 11, 2021 6:00 pm

Wait until they realise that hydrogen is colourless, not green blue and brown.

They will have to add colourants to it so that you can know what you have bought.

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg
Reply to  Greg
October 11, 2021 7:48 pm

In France “le gasoil”/”le gazole” (diesel car fuel) and “fioul domestique” (domestic heating diesel) have different colors, but they are otherwise pretty much the same oil distillate.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  niceguy
October 12, 2021 1:15 am

In the US diesel is colored to differentiate between road diesel and farm diesel. Farm diesel is much cheaper because of lower tax. Every so often the Highway Patrol will set up check-points to try and ferret out farmers putting farm diesel in their trucks. It also gives them an opportunity to poke around and look for other offenses….

Hans Henrik Hansen
Reply to  niceguy
October 12, 2021 1:18 am

They most likely have different TAXATION as well, so the colo(u)ring is undoubtedly intended to prevent (/limit) tax fraud!?

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 12, 2021 3:45 am

i fear sanity has left the building along with Elvis;-(

Geoffrey Williams
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 12, 2021 1:18 pm

I’m just waiting for the next hydrogen disaster . . ‘Oh the humanity of it all’ . .

October 11, 2021 2:16 pm

It looks like Mexico is going with only coal in state run power plants.

Mexico presents plan to shutter private power plants – ABC News (go.com)

Will it even get a mention at COP26?

Reply to  ResourceGuy
October 11, 2021 5:22 pm

Government-run plants that burn dirty fuel oil would have preference over private wind and solar plants.

JournoLism with a touch of green… not plants.

October 11, 2021 2:17 pm

Green hydrogen depends on massive amounts of wind and solar power. Fortunately RE is so very cheap, and getting cheaper. But wait, what happens when it has to pay the full price of firming instead of getting a free ride on the back of the dwindling supply of conventional power? Check the numbers! https://newcatallaxy.blog/2021/09/25/the-real-cost-of-unreliable-energy/

Reply to  Rafe Champion
October 11, 2021 3:13 pm

That’s a great way to explain the realities, Rafe.

But who was it said –
“it’s always difficult to get a man to understand something when his pay check depends on him not understanding it?”

Reply to  Rafe Champion
October 12, 2021 5:32 pm

The point is moot. Green hydrogen doesn’t need firming- actually it is a good way of using the excess solar/wind that would otherwise go to waste.
You do realise there is no subsidies involved in this? It’s purely a private enterprise initiative? Unlike, say, every nuclear power plant on the planet, that has subsidies, large and small, hidden or overt.

Joel O'Bryan
October 11, 2021 2:18 pm

Green hydrogen is hydrogen made from solar PV electricity and the electrolysis of water, it’s about a 4% efficiency, mostly due to heat generated by the electrolysis. It is a hugely inefficient use of massive solar PV farms that themselves are anything but green in their manufacture in China. Green hydrogen is just a fanciful PR distraction.

Brown hydrogen is hydrogen made from coal gassification. This is an efficient way to make hydrogen, but the copious CO2 produced has to undergo CCS in order to do anything in regards to emissions. The Greentards are well on record as firmly hating all CCS schemes as they allow more fossil fuels to be mined, produced and burned. Just another way to keep the coal mines cranked up. Which is a good thing.

Attached is an image of how brown hydrogen will be created in Australia and shipped to Japan in the next few years as this trial proceeds. It’s all virtue signaling PR smokescreens, whilst the real effort at shipping vast quantities of coal and natural gas (as LNG) to Asia proceeds at accelerating levels. Which in that way is a good thing.


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Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Serge Wright
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 11, 2021 2:48 pm

Maybe their next trick will be to use green hydrogen as a means to transport water, where water is converted to hydrogen, transported in a leaky pipe for a thousand + km and then converted back to water at the other side where it’s used for irrigation. Then they can claim they’re really smart.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 11, 2021 5:46 pm

Good summary.
To put hydrogen production in context, in 2019 about 50 Mt of hydrogen was produced worldwide, according to the British House of Commons library, of which Britain was producing 0.7 Mt a small fraction of the global total.
I believe Australia produced less than Britain but need to find reliable figures.
The IEA had an estimate for 2018 of worldwide demand at 75Mt.
So we have –
Brown Hydrogen- Coal gasification,
Grey Hydrogen- Natural gas steam Methane reforming
Blue Hydrogen- Grey hydrogen plus Carbon Capture and Storage,
Pink Hydrogen- Gas or Methane hydrogen produced from nuclear power,
Green hydrogen- Hydrogen produced from Water via electrolysis.
Only the last is categorised as “clean” hydrogen i.e.claimed to be zero carbon and only if the electricity used is generated by zero carbon means.
Note that FFI and Pivot are conducting feasibility studies on the viability of commercial production.
Of world production, 48% is grey hydrogen and another 48% is brown hydrogen while only 4% is produced from the electrolysis of water.
Green hydrogen is very much a speculative venture.

Reply to  Herbert
October 11, 2021 6:47 pm

There is no 100% green energy….there are electric cars being powered by electricity from coal…coal burners they are…but their owners consider themselves to be virtuous. It is a tangled web they weave when they try to deceive that CO2 is a problem.

Reply to  Herbert
October 12, 2021 3:52 am

wow rainbow fuel for the woke luvvies
how utterly twee

October 11, 2021 2:20 pm

They will need coal fired electricity to process the needed volume of hydrogen required for widespread use. And then you got all the pipelines to put in to every structure, need coal fired electricity to make all the pipe and other materials/parts. Ramp up coal fired electricity generation, hydrogen will peter out as it most likely will in the hands of a bunch of leftist idiots and everyone switches back to natural gas and there is plenty of electricity for industry and agriculture and every other thing that humans love to do with electricity. A sound plan as far as I can see!

October 11, 2021 2:40 pm

Twiggy must chuckle quietly while he reflects on how easy it was for him to deflect the greenies from haranguing and disrupting his massive iron ore mining operations, as they consume tons of diesel fuel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Can you imagine how much diesel it took Twiggy’s monster mine trucks to run just this one operation at his Solomon hub –

In FY21, we celebrated the milestone of surpassing two billion tonnes of material moved.

See, Twiggy isn’t in coal or gas, so why shouldn’t he occupy the vandals (greenies) with attacking his fellow miners in fights he doesn’t have a dog in?

Reply to  Mr.
October 12, 2021 3:54 am

twiggys gone woke and “first nations”
curious how OUR aboriginals appropriated 1st nations and no one complains??

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 12, 2021 8:52 am

Yes, some of these Antipodean “nations” consisted of a dozen or so pax who wandered over many square miles of terrain foraging for food.
They set no territorial boundaries, food supply dictated where they camped from week to week.

“Nations” my arse.

Rud Istvan
October 11, 2021 3:16 pm

Old joke about ‘on the one hand, but on the other hand’. So two lawyers can give 4 opinions per client. Economists are better since can give three each, because they can throw in a ceterus paribus qualifier.

When I was a very senior rainmaking corporate BCG consultant, we were allowed just one fact based opinion. Feedback was usually fairly immediate. CEO and Board agreed, we maybe got hired again. They didn’t, it was adios (with no Amigo).

October 11, 2021 3:45 pm

One of the more rational of Palachook’s decisions. Green hydrogen (hydrogen made from solar PV electricity using electrolysis of water) is about 4% efficient. When the hydrogen proves too costly or dangerous, Queensland can fall back on Old King Coal.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
October 11, 2021 4:13 pm

I think we will be digging up (or just picking up) coal all the time this fantasy is being pretended anyway. The demand is huge, and the prices are going up, just like gas.

In any case, don’t the customers burning this coal get lumbered with the CO2 ‘penalty’ anyway? I’m sure that they do, so they can’t sensibly lumber us with a penalty too. Not that sense comes into it, though.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
October 12, 2021 3:54 am

oh just dandy
after how many mega millions wasted on it?

October 11, 2021 4:09 pm

The locality of Aldoga near Gladstone chosen by Twiggy is not noted for wind according to map posted on www.
Renewable Energy Atlas of Australia — Mean Wind Speed at 80m above ground level
comment image
I cant find the Atlas online now but my files have the above map on a 1 page pdf dated 2008.
If anybody finds a link to something more modern please post. Here is ABC news from Sunday
New $1 billion-plus project in Queensland to double world’s green hydrogen production capacity 10Oct21
Quote – Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) will build the world’s largest green energy hydrogen manufacturing facility in Central Queensland, mining billionaire and company founder Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest says. The first step in the project — a $115 million manufacturing facility set to be built in Aldoga, west of Gladstone — is expected to double the world’s green hydrogen production capacity

Reply to  wazz
October 12, 2021 3:23 pm

And Scotland wants in on the ‘diversified energy hub’ boondoggle: –
They say it’s ‘green’ hydrogen, using offshore wind.
But I wonder how long it will be before the power-that-is in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, declares it ‘inherently Scottish’, and so it must, therefore, produce Tartan hydrogen?
Note the terminal operator is Repsol Sinopec, a Spanish-Chinese [so CCP] entity.

Doubtless there’ll be millions in subsidy for ‘upgrading’ the pipework.
As I’ve read here, hydrogen is a rather tricky gas.

The closing paragraphs of the above linked report –
“Repsol Sinopec chief executive José Luis Muñoz said: “The Flotta terminal has been in operation since 1976 and has made a significant contribution to Orkney’s economy and communities for more than 40 years.
“We fully support our industry’s transition to clean, green energy and a secure future for skilled oil and gas workers in Scotland and across the UK.
“This project would enable the terminal to be progressively transformed over time into a diversified energy hub.”” –
absolutely fill me with confidence that Señor Muñoz has had a quick briefing on the pork barrel aspects of power in Scotland;
The hazards of hydrogen – maybe less so.


Reply to  auto
October 12, 2021 11:57 pm

Back around end of May at Biloela in Qld there was –
Callide C coal-fired outage due to hydrogen explosion

I read somewhere they are talking a year plus and $200Mill Kangas to repair the wrecked unit.

Patrick MJD
October 11, 2021 4:37 pm

If the pipe distribution network is anything like the pipe network for water here in Sydney it won’t hold any hydrogen for long.

Patrick MJD
October 11, 2021 4:39 pm

The next Queensland state election is in 2024.

Chris Hanley
October 11, 2021 5:01 pm

The assured “industrial green revolution” is based on the slogan: ‘don’t worry, sometime someone somewhere will invent something’.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hanley
Reply to  Chris Hanley
October 11, 2021 7:39 pm

Don’t fight it, join it. “Don’t worry, sometime somewhere someone will invent something to stick on the tailpipe of my gasoline-fueled car to remove all the carbon dioxide it produces.” Or, “everything about my car is green except for the fuel it burns. Don’t worry, sometime someone somewhere will invent a fuel for my car that doesn’t produce carbon dioxide emissions.”

Frederick Michael
October 11, 2021 5:10 pm

The key is the verb “assess.”

October 11, 2021 5:19 pm

Science, technology, and rational processes, first. One step… forward.

October 11, 2021 7:27 pm

Macron says “en même temps“: all at the same time.

Mike Lowe
October 12, 2021 2:45 am

Like backing 3 horses in the same race, when one has an outstanding record as a stayer, one is a comparative newcomer with recent good form, and the third is an untrained young horse with no track success. Who should we back, I wonder?

October 12, 2021 3:44 am

looking for PRn votes
shes NOT popular or very bright
the H2 setups will be millions to billions and fall over
on her would be my personal pref

October 12, 2021 8:19 am

“Green hydrogen” is an oxymoron.

J Mac
October 12, 2021 9:50 am

Doing whatever it takes to appease the irrational environMentalists whilst keeping heat in the house this winter, I guess.

October 12, 2021 2:36 pm

But Qld also has a declared policy of 50% renewable electricity by 2030.
Current mix 73% coal, 9% gas.

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