PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government has added a further A$150-million in funding to a A$1.2-billion hydrogen investment, adding two locations under the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs programme to enable the roll-out of hydrogen hubs across seven priority regional sites.
Hubs will consolidate Australia’s natural resource strengths to unlock cheap, clean energy and stimulate a potential surge in industrial activity.
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 A$464-million grant programme provides up to A$3-million grants for project consortia to initially progress feasibility and design work, and up to A$70-million towards the roll-out of projects.
Seven prospective locations across Australia have been identified, namely Bell Bay in Tasmaia, 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.
Prime Minster Scott Morrison said these hydrogen hubs would create jobs across Australia and fast-track Australia’s push to be a global leader in the new energy economy.
"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.
“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.”
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said 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.
“Hydrogen hubs are crucial to realising the government’s vision of making Australia a major global player in hydrogen production and exports by 2030,” Taylor said.
“We are looking to partner with industry, and work with state and territory governments to make this a reality.
“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 A$11-billion a year in gross domestic product by 2050.
“The development of Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs would help the emerging industry work towards achieving the stretch goal of hydrogen production at under A$2/kg under the government’s Technology Investment Roadmap.
“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.
“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, identified by the National Hydrogen Strategy as a priority measure, will create economies of scale by colocating hydrogen producers, users and exporters in one location.
The Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hub Grants programme will build on the work being done by the Special Adviser on Low Emissions Technology, Dr Alan Finkel, to broker international partnerships and initiatives that will accelerate the deployment of hydrogen and other priority low emissions technologies.