Australia’s biggest natural gas distributor wants new housing subdivisions to be powered by green hydrogen by 2025.

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, which owns distributors Multinet and Australian Gas Networks, wants to ensure that renewable gas does not lose out in the rush to net zero emissions.

It has set up a new target for all of its gas network to be on at least a 10 per cent renewable gas blend by 2030.

“By 2040 we plan and expect to transition from natural gas to renewables gases – mostly hydrogen but also biomethane,” AGIG CEO Ben Wilson says. 

The push for net zero emissions has left companies that distribute gas to households with little option but to adapt.

AGIG says that by supplying customers with hydrogen and biomethane, it can align with both its own corporate net zero targets.

The company has successfully added a 5 per cent blend of hydrogen to the gas flow supplies of 700 customers in the Adelaide suburb of Tonsley Park, and has secured funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to supply a 10 per cent green hydrogen gas blend to 40,000 customers in Albury-Wodonga, coming online in 2023-24.

While standard home appliances can run on 10 per cent hydrogen blends without adjustments, using a 100 per cent green hydrogen product would require hydrogen appliances that are currently available in Britain and Europe, but not Australia.

AGIG says it is also working to bring hydrogen cooktops, ovens, boilers and space heaters in from Europe by the year’s end.

“There’s a risk for industry that if we don’t move quickly to demonstrate that green hydrogen is viable for the decarbonisation of heat ... that the default becomes electrification because governments are setting targets that they then need to hit, which means time is of the essence,” Mr Wilson said.

“So the onus is on us to make it real, which is clearly what we are trying to do.”