Fast tracking renewable hydrogen projects

The Australian Government is backing a clean, innovative and competitive national hydrogen industry.

Hydrogen projects are invited to apply for funding in the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said projects funded under this program will demonstrate the production of hydrogen through electrolysis as part of the Government’s drive to develop a global hydrogen industry in Australia.

“Despite the very significant benefits that can come from hydrogen, it is not yet economic for large scale deployment in our energy systems. This $70 million funding round will help demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of hydrogen production at a large-scale using electrolysis,” Minister Taylor said.

“The Government has set an economic goal for hydrogen of ‘H2 under 2’ – that is Hydrogen at or under $2 per kilogram. That’s the point where hydrogen becomes competitive with alternatives in large-scale deployment across our energy systems.

“This program, along with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) $300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund will be essential to bringing down the cost of hydrogen and achieving that goal.

“Getting costs down will be key to establishing Australia as a world leader in the hydrogen sector through both domestic uses, such as blending hydrogen into local gas networks and heavy-vehicle transport use, to exporting Australian-made hydrogen to our key trading partners, like Japan and Korea.”

Announced in February this year, ‘H2 under 2’ is the first economic goal of our Technology Investment Roadmap which will be released for public consultation soon.

ARENA’s $70 million funding was a commitment made alongside the launch of the National Hydrogen Strategy, agreed by all Australian governments in November last year, which sets out the path for Australia to build a hydrogen industry by 2030.

The ARENA funding round is designed to support large scale renewable hydrogen projects with electrolysers of at least 5 MW in size, and preferably 10 MW or bigger. Projects must be powered by renewable electricity, either directly or through power purchase agreements or green certificates.

A hydrogen industry could potentially create thousands of new jobs in Australia, many in regional areas, and billions of dollars in economic growth between now and 2050. Estimates indicate an Australian hydrogen industry could create more than 8,000 jobs and generate about $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050.

The Liberal National Government has committed over $500 million to backing the hydrogen industry in Australia since 2015.

Expressions of interest for ARENA funding are open until Tuesday 26 May and can be made through ARENA’s website.

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