Australia to be a world leader in hydrogen

  • Joint media release
  • The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
  • Senator The Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
23 November 2019

Australia will become a world leader in hydrogen production and exports thanks to a new fund set up by the Government.

Following the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy, the Government is launching a funding package focused 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 Government will reserve $370 million from existing Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding to back new hydrogen projects. These funds will come from within the existing allocations to the CEFC and to ARENA.

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”, said Minister Taylor.

“The Government is backing that in 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 Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Tasmania was well positioned to become a major player in hydrogen, having the natural resources and a growing innovation sector to take advantage of increasing global momentum for clean hydrogen.

“We’re backing the potential for new hydrogen projects to cement Australia as a world leader and, with our extensive renewable energy resources, Tasmania is well placed to be a leading player in producing and exporting green hydrogen to many nations,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This fund will help kick-start projects that have the potential to provide a significant economic boost as well as create future job opportunities.

“The creation of the Advancing Hydrogen Fund sends a clear signal to the market that our Government is serious about attracting and growing investments in hydrogen projects.

“Significant levels of new investment will be needed to successfully commercialise and scale a global hydrogen industry and Tasmania is in a prime position to take advantage of this emerging industry.

“Australia is already one of the world’s largest, most reliable and trusted energy suppliers. By backing the potential of hydrogen we are securing our future as a supplier of future energy resources too.

“I have already met with major businesses and investors in key energy export markets such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the European Union who are excited by the potential for Australia to be a global leader in hydrogen production.

“This is a huge opportunity for all levels of government, private industry and the research community to back-in projects right here in Tasmania that down the track will provide huge economic benefits.”

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council yesterday 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 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 our membership with the US Center for Hydrogen Safety and coordinating a National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment. The 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.

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