The federal government is boosting its investment under the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program by a further $150 million, to rollout two more hydrogen hubs in priority regional sites.
Australia is aiming to commercialise hydrogen technology by co-locating hydrogen production and industrial uses, and building on the infrastructure and workforces in regional areas.
The new hubs will consolidate Australia’s natural resource strengths to unlock cheap, clean energy and stimulate a surge in industrial activity.
Additional government funding will help to de-risk projects and quickly achieve the scale necessary to establish new export industries, and meet the growing energy needs of the Indo Pacific region.
The now $464 million grant program provides up to $3 million grants for projects to initially progress feasibility and design work, and up to $70 million towards rolling out these projects.
Seven prospective locations across Australia have been identified, including Bell Bay in Tasmania, Darwin in the Northern Territory, Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Gladstone in Queensland, Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Hunter Valley in New South Wales and Pilbara in Western Australia.
These hydrogen hubs will create jobs across Australia and fast-track Australia’s push to be a global leader in the new energy economy, according to PM Scott Morrison.
“Our plan to invest and develop low emissions industries will mean more jobs for Australian workers, particularly in our regions, cheaper energy for businesses and lower emissions,” Morrison said.
“We are accelerating the development of our Australian hydrogen industry and it is our ambition to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world, transforming our transport, energy, resources and manufacturing sectors.
“This is good for jobs, good for our environment and contributes to our global effort to reduce emissions through technology not taxes.”
Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs will create the domestic demand needed to help the hydrogen industry drive down costs and scale-up production, creating new job opportunities for our regions.
“Hydrogen hubs are crucial to realising the Morrison government’s vision of making Australia a major global player in hydrogen production and exports by 2030,” minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said.
“Australia has the potential to be a world leader in the production of affordable and clean hydrogen, and our hydrogen industry could create around 8,000 new Australian jobs and generate over $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050.”
The new hubs would help produce hydrogen at under $2 per kilogram.
“Accelerating the commercial deployment of priority low emissions technologies such as hydrogen so they reach cost parity with higher emissions alternatives is critical to Australia’s technology led approach to reducing emissions,” Taylor said.
“A thriving hydrogen sector will help Australia to achieve its emission-reduction goals while continuing to grow our economy and support existing industries.”
Hydrogen hubs, as identified by the National Hydrogen Strategy as a priority measure, will create economies of scale by co-locating hydrogen producers, users and exporters in one location.
The Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hub Grants program will build on the work being done by the special adviser on Low Emissions Technology, Dr Alan Finkel. It will broker international partnerships and initiatives to deploy hydrogen and other priority low emissions technologies.
While the hydrogen program is open Australia-wide, the seven locations have been identified based on strong interest and activity from industry and each location’s existing capabilities, infrastructure and resources.
Program guidelines are now available at business.gov.au, with applications to open in the coming weeks.