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Business envoy

Australia powering ahead with hydrogen

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER)

Report cover page

Since the release of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy by the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Energy Council in November 2019, the Australian Government has been advancing international collaborations, undertaking national coordination and supporting priority industry projects to grow a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry.

Australia is engaging internationally to build on our strong trade relationships and set the foundation to become a major exporter of hydrogen.

Bilaterally, since signing a Letter of Intent in September 2019, Australia and the Republic of Korea are cooperating to develop a Hydrogen Action Plan in 2020.

Australia and Japan continue to work together on the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project – a $500 million pilot project in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley that will convert brown coal to liquefied hydrogen to be shipped to Japan. Australia and Japan continue to explore further opportunities since signing a Joint Statement on Cooperation on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in January 2020.

In March 2020, Australia and Singapore agreed to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on low emissions technologies, including on hydrogen cooperation. This MoU was signed on 26 October 2020. Under the MoU, Australia and Singapore will share technical knowledge and cooperate on the development of new technologies, renewable energy trade, emissions monitoring and emission reduction strategies.

Germany released its National Hydrogen Strategy in June 2020, outlining its plan to import significant amounts of hydrogen from partner countries, with €2 billion designated for international partnerships. On 11 September 2020, Australia and Germany announced a partnership to develop a feasibility study on a renewable hydrogen supply chain and opened an Expression of Interest process to involve Australian industry. The Expressions of Interest process closed on 12 October 2020.

Multilaterally, Australia has also been active in the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) to advance Australia’s interests in the development of a hydrogen certification scheme. In June 2020, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) led an initial consultation with the domestic Australian industry on its views and preferences on a hydrogen certification scheme which closed on 22 June 2020 and has since conducted industry stakeholder workshops.

On 17 September 2020, the Government announced a $1.9 billion investment package in future technologies. This includes support for the next generation of energy technologies with an extra $1.62 billion for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to invest, as well as expanding the focus of ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to back new technologies that will cut emissions in agriculture, manufacturing, industry and transport. The package also includes $70.2 million of funding for the development of Australia’s first regional hydrogen hub, co-locating domestic hydrogen users with an export focus to create global hydrogen supply chain linkages.

This new funding is in addition to over $500 million of Australian Government funding that has already been specifically committed to hydrogen industry development, including $370 million that was announced with the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy. This covers the CEFC’s $300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund which opened in May 2020 to provide low cost debt and equity financing to hydrogen projects, and ARENA’s $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. The Funding Round opened in April 2020 and closed in May 2020. ARENA received 36 expressions of interest in response to the initial application stage. ARENA announced in July 2020 the shortlisting of seven applications and invited to submit a full application for the next stage of the round, closing in January 2021.

In September 2020, the Australian Government formally recognised hydrogen as a ‘priority technology’ in the Technology Investment Roadmap’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement, setting an economic stretch goal to produce clean hydrogen under $2 per kilogram.

The Roadmap is a strategy to accelerate the development and commercialisation on low emissions technologies, and annual statements will form key milestones of the roadmap process. Recognising hydrogen as a priority technology and working toward the $2 stretch goal reinforces the commitments already mentioned above and will help ensure Australia captures a significant share of the growing global export demand for this technology.

DISER is leading work to implement the National Hydrogen Strategy, partnering with other Australian Government agencies such as DFAT and Austrade and with Australian State and Territory Governments.

For further more information on National Hydrogen Strategy implementation, please subscribe to DISER’s Australian Hydrogen News.

Mapping Australia’s Hydrogen Investment Opportunities: Aus H2

The Australian Hydrogen Opportunities Tool (AusH2) was developed by Geoscience Australia in 2019 in support of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy. AusH2 provides a national-scale spatial analysis of Australia’s hydrogen production potential based on Geoscience Australia’s ‘Prospective Hydrogen Production Regions of Australia’ report.

Australia has vast physical resources that could support a large-scale hydrogen industry, including large-scale renewable hydrogen and hydrogen produced from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

AusH2 aims to attract investment in Australia’s hydrogen industry, providing high quality, free, online geospatial analysis tools and data for mapping and understanding Australia’s hydrogen potential. It uses national-scale datasets, such as locations of wind, solar and hydro resources, to map prospective hydrogen production in Australia. Both hydrogen production by electrolysis using renewable energy sources and fossil fuel-produced hydrogen coupled with CCS, can be examined by the user.

Geoscience Australia’s predictions for regions with high potential for hydrogen production are based on analysis informed by industry and government. They coincide with Australia’s current hydrogen project locations which show regions with high potential for renewable hydrogen production, as well as access to existing electricity infrastructure and water supplies.

The AusH2 tool also allows interactive interrogation and analysis by users through the use of the tool’s Hydrogen Mapper function. Users can customise weightings and settings in each of the five different hydrogen production scenarios presented in the ‘Prospective Hydrogen Production Regions of Australia’ report, to produce customised heat maps of hydrogen production potential across Australia.

To further support investment in Australia’s hydrogen industry, Geoscience Australia is currently working with Monash University on a hydrogen economic fairways tool that will be added to AusH2, combining large-scale infrastructure and hydrogen-relevant datasets to conduct geospatial analysis of the economic viability of potential hydrogen operations across Australia. This tool will be available by the end of 2020.

For more information, visit www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/energy/resources/hydrogen and https://portal.ga.gov.au/persona/hydrogen

This map identifies current hydrogen projects and areas of high suitability for renewable hydrogen production in Australia, which were identified by assessing the availability of renewable power that can be transported through the existing electrical grid for use in coastal areas. This scenario assumes that most future hydrogen production will use desalinated seawater.
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