Under the Hydrogen Technology Cluster Australia (H2TCA) program, a National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) initiative, three new regional hydrogen technology clusters will support the development of Australia’s future clean hydrogen industry.
Funded by the federal government’s Industry Growth Centre initiative, the hydrogen clusters – in Townsville, Queensland and in the Gascoyne and Midwest regions, Western Australia – aim to bring together local players to build the regions’ skills and advance commercialisation opportunities.
These new clusters support the federal government’s investment of over $1.2 billion to accelerate the development of an Australian hydrogen industry.
The ambition is to produce affordable clean hydrogen for use both in Australia and to export to our trading partners, and regional Australia is critical to this.
“These new clusters are great for the people of Townsville, Gascoyne and the Midwest regions as they will help accelerate hydrogen industry development by enabling vital connection, collaboration, and alignment of action across Australia,” minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said.
“Encouraging innovation, and building capabilities, particularly in regional Australia, will help make Australian hydrogen supply chains the most attractive in the world.”
The presence of two hydrogen clusters in the heart of the Durack electorate presents significant opportunities for investment and jobs, according to member for Durack Melissa Price.
“People in the Gascoyne and Midwest regions of Western Australia will now have important roles to play in our government’s push to fast-track the development of a clean hydrogen industry,” Price said.
“I know my constituents in regional WA will embrace the opportunity to be at the forefront of this important industry for Australia.”
Member for Herbert, Phil Thompson, has been working closely with the NQH2 consortium in Townsville to reach this milestone.
“Today’s announcement that Townsville is now officially a hydrogen cluster is excellent news for our city,” Thompson said.
“We’ve already got hydrogen projects on the go, but this step really puts us on the national map as a region that is prioritising the industry and will help unlock opportunities for even more major investment into the future.”
Clean hydrogen could directly support 16,000 jobs by 2050, plus an additional 13,000 jobs from the construction of related renewable energy infrastructure. Australian hydrogen production for export and domestic use could also generate more than $50 billion in additional GDP by 2050.
This announcement shows the importance Australia places on the potential for hydrogen energy, NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said.
“Today’s announcement is a crucial step for Australia in building the skills, capacities, technologies and commercialisation opportunities necessary to unlock Australia’s enormous potential to create a globally competitive hydrogen industry that could create thousands of jobs across regional Australia,” Taylor said.
NERA’s Hydrogen Technology Cluster Australia establishes a global identity and a recognised brand for Australian hydrogen technology and expertise.
The three new clusters will join an existing network of 15 regional hydrogen technology clusters across Australia to aid the development of the hydrogen supply chain.