The Federal Budget 2023-24 will invest $2 billion in a new Hydrogen Headstart program to scale up the development of Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry.
This critical new investment is all about making Australia a global leader in green hydrogen, as competition for clean energy investment accelerates around the world.
The net-zero transformation is the largest change to both Australia and the world’s economy since the industrial revolution.
After a decade of policy inaction, Hydrogen Headstart contributes to the over $40 billion of investment by the Government to make Australia a renewable energy superpower.
Australia already has the largest pipeline of renewable hydrogen projects in the world. Regions here have the resources, technical skills and key trade partnerships to drive growth in hydrogen and other clean industries, as well as the jobs that come with it.
Getting to net zero emissions will require renewable hydrogen. Analysis by ClimateWorks and ARENA found as much as 364,000 tonnes (44PJ) is required by 2030 and 2,230,000 tonnes (268PJ) is required by 2050 for industrial decarbonisation.
Hydrogen can be combusted for industrial heat, used as a chemical input for green manufacturing, a fuel for heavy transport, or liquified and compressed for export to key trading partners.
Green hydrogen is also a critical enabler for future manufacturing of green metals and other products the world needs as the transformation to net zero by 2050 gathers pace.
The Government is helping to unlock clean industry growth through:
- $2 billion for Hydrogen Headstart, providing revenue support for large‑scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts. These will help bridge the commercial gap for early projects and put Australia on course for up to a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity by 2030 through 2 to 3 flagship projects.
- $38.2 million in funding for a Guarantee of Origin scheme, which will certify renewable energy and track and verify emissions from clean energy products – in particular hydrogen. This is critical funding to ensure Australia is seen as an attractive investment destination, to accelerate investment in an Australian hydrogen industry and to support access to future markets for verified renewable and clean products.
- $2.0 million to establish a fund to support First Nations people and businesses to engage with hydrogen project proponents, planning processes and program design.
Importantly, the Government will also provide $5.6 million to support further work on the best ways to leverage Australia’s competitive strengths in renewable energy, critical minerals and highly skilled workforce to accelerate other clean industrial and manufacturing capabilities, with further actions to be identified by the end of 2023.
These commitments build on over half a billion dollars of investment by the Government in regional hydrogen hubs, which will drive investments in this new industry across regions including Gladstone, the Hunter, Bell Bay and the Pilbara.
Developing Australia’s hydrogen industry will help ensure Australia remains a reliable energy partner to key regional trading partners through the energy transformation.
This investment will build critical domestic experience and expertise, and help Australia connect to global supply chains to take advantage of the immense jobs and investment potential of green hydrogen.