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Australia's hydrogen potential worth billions - report

30th March 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The Australian hydrogen industry could be worth an estimated A$40-billion and could create as many as 72 000 jobs a year by 2040, a new report by National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) shows.

The report, 'Powering Up: Seizing Australia's Hydrogen Opportunity by 2040', revealed that the hydrogen industry was capable of generating nearly 1% of national gross value added (GVA) and supporting 58 000 to 72 000 jobs by 2040, most of which would be created in regional areas. 

By 2040, Australian hydrogen demand could soar to 9.5-million tonnes, almost ten times the current global production, with 46% designated for export markets. To meet this demand, massive infrastructure development will be needed, including a five-fold increase in Australia’s solar and wind capacity, thousands of electrolysers and compressors, and over 5 000 hydrogen storage tanks. The required infrastructure investment is estimated to be between A$340-billion to A$420-billion, with a yearly investment of A$25-billion to A$30-billion between 2025 and 2040. 

The report is the first comprehensive analysis of Australia's hydrogen supply chain and the hydrogen equipment, technology and services (HETS) opportunity from a national perspective, outlining crucial actions needed to support Australia's future hydrogen economy. 

The study builds on modelling developed by advisory firm Arup for the yet-to-be-released National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment to consider one possible configuration of the hydrogen supply chain in 2040. 

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said realising the full potential hydrogen presented for Australia required significant investment to foster local capabilities, job creation and decarbonisation efforts, particularly in regional areas. 

“The hydrogen supply chain could drive Australia’s future economic growth and position the country to become a global leader in hydrogen. Our opportunity extends far beyond producing and exporting molecules. Rather, homegrown HETS businesses can offer cutting-edge technology and expertise across supply chain segments, such as hydrogen storage. But seizing this opportunity requires a robust local supply chain.

“The Powering Up report highlights the urgency of swift and strategic action to develop the strong hydrogen supply chain required, and provides actionable recommendations to help Australia take hold of its hydrogen opportunity, such as investing in regional capability, incentivising overseas manufacturers to onshore their capabilities, and securing annual infrastructure investment,” said Taylor. 

She emphasised that the report’s findings underscored the importance of strategic initiatives like the NERA-initiated hydrogen technology cluster network. 

"The national network of 17 hydrogen clusters is pivotal in connecting emerging regional hydrogen industries in Australia, and promoting early HETS sector development, coordinated supply chains, and accessible entry points into hydrogen for local businesses. And, with 90% of hydrogen industry jobs projected to be in regional areas, it is essential to develop local capabilities and supply chains to support this growth. 

“As NERA's tenure as Australia's energy resources Industry Growth Centre concludes in July, we are transitioning the vital national leadership role for these regional networks to the Australian Hydrogen Council (AHC). This partnership allows AHC to build on existing momentum and continue to support the HETS sector’s crucial growth, connecting Australia’s emerging HETS supply chain and innovative businesses with major corporations at the forefront of hydrogen innovation,” said Taylor. 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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