A new fund set up by the Federal Government will put Australia on the path to becoming a world leader in hydrogen production and export.
Following the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy, the launch of the funding package will focus on growing an innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.
Along with the $13.4 million already provided to implement and coordinate the strategy, the Federal Government will reserve $370 million from existing Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding to back new hydrogen projects.
The CEFC will commit $300 million of concessional finance through a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund and ARENA will provide $70 million to kick-start electrolyser projects.
This package takes the government’s commitments to the hydrogen industry to over $500 million since 2015.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said with the National Hydrogen Strategy released it was important to give the sector a boost to help Australia realise its high potential for hydrogen production.
“The National Hydrogen Strategy maps out the steps we can take to develop a sustainable and commercial hydrogen industry,” Mr Taylor said.
“The government is backing that through project investment to promote our outstanding potential as a hydrogen supplier to the world.
“Importantly, hydrogen can play a role in the future energy mix to bring down energy prices, keep the lights on and reduce emissions.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said Australia was positioned to become a major global player by 2030, having the resources and experience to take advantage of increasing global momentum for clean hydrogen.
“There is potential for thousands of new jobs, many in regional areas, and billions of dollars in economic growth between now and 2050, with key energy export markets such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan taking action to diversify their energy sources,” Mr Canavan said.
“We can help them do just that. Australia is already one of the world’s largest and most reliable and trusted energy suppliers, and hydrogen will be one more energy export we can supply to existing and new markets.
“All levels of government, private industry and the research community will now have the opportunity to help us realise our hydrogen potential and reap rewards for the economy, the community and the environment.”
Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, said that while the CEFC is already able to invest in hydrogen technologies, the creation of the Advancing Hydrogen Fund sends a clear signal to the market that the government is committed to investments in hydrogen projects.
“Significant levels of new investment will be needed to successfully commercialise and scale a global hydrogen industry. We believe Australia is well placed to help contribute to the growth of this emerging industry,” Mr Cormann said.
“In establishing the Advancing Hydrogen Fund, we are creating the appropriate policy and regulatory settings to drive increased investment in hydrogen.”
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council released the National Hydrogen Strategy in Perth.
The strategy sets a path for Australia to become a major global player in the hydrogen industry by 2030 through removing market barriers, ensuring regulatory consistency and building international trade partnerships.
The strategy looks to encourage the creation of ’hydrogen hubs’ – clusters of large-scale domestic demand that will help to establish the skills and investment needed for Australia to develop a globally competitive hydrogen export industry.
The Federal Government has already announced $13.4 million dollars to support the strategy. This includes working with all jurisdictions on reviewing regulatory barriers, addressing safety matters through its membership with the US Center for Hydrogen Safety and coordinating a National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment.
The Federal Government will also work with other countries to develop the international hydrogen standards and establish trade partnerships.
This national coordination is essential to ensure hydrogen development has a positive influence on energy prices and energy security.
The National Hydrogen Strategy is available at: industry.gov.au/hydrogen.