Greenwashing is when a company (or, in this case, the government of Australia) markets itself as environmentally friendly, focusing the limelight on facts that minimizing their environmental impact. It’s considered a deceitful marketing gimmick that’s often used to mislead people who prefer to support goods and services from environmentally conscious brands. In an example of the worst kind of greenwashing, the Australian government is patting itself on the back for its “green” achievements after sending off a ship full of “brown” hydrogen to Japan while, at the same time, they are subsidizing the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $20,000 a minute.
Andrew Forrest says that “green” hydrogen production needs a level playing field. He’s right, of course – while CleanTechnica has cited the fact that only 0.03% of the world’s hydrogen production can truly be called “green“. He has called out the government’s greenwashing in a recent set of full page ads in the Financial Review. He calls a spade a spade and puts his money where his mouth is.
The hydrogen shipped to Japan was made using electricity generated by brown coal (one of the worst polluting fossil fuels) and fracked methane (another one of the worst polluting fuels). “Green” hydrogen is made from water, using an electrolyzer powered by renewable energy. “Peddling hydrogen made from brown coal — the dirtiest of all coals — as ‘clean’ is a cringe-inducing backwards shuffle into the dark ages,” he stated in a piece he wrote for the Financial Review.
“While green hydrogen might be more expensive than natural gas in 2022, its cost is continuing to decline as technologies emerge and scale, with global analytics and information company IHS Markit estimating production costs have fallen 40 per cent since 2015 — and will fall a further 40 per cent by 2025. By 2030, researchers at the Australian National University forecast green hydrogen will be cost competitive with fossil fuels, with a production cost of $2 per kilogram,” Andrews says.
“Goldman Sachs predicts green hydrogen has the potential to give rise to a $US11 trillion addressable market globally for the utilities industry alone, and to supply up to 25 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2050,” he continues.
Forrest is known in Australia as an outspoken proponent of green hydrogen and has the money and expertise in his Forest Future Industries group to make things happen on a global scale. He is not someone to lie down and accept the greenwashing lies being told by politicians to an ignorant and gullible public.
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