PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The resources sector has welcomed the federal opposition’s A$1-billion hydrogen strategy, to fund hydrogen research and commercial development.
Labour’s plan will see A$1-billion in funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation go towards supporting clean hydrogen development, with up to A$90-million of unallocated funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency going to support research, demonstration and pre-commercial deployment of hydrogen technologies.
A$10-million in funding will go towards hydrogen refueling infrastructure around Australia, a further A$40-million of unallocated funding going towards hydrogen technologies and businesses that have passed the research and development stage.
Labour’s plans included implementing regulatory reforms, including reforms to support the use of existing gas pipelines for hydrogen and to support hydrogen shipping, while also establishing a national hydrogen innovation hub in Gladstone, with an initial investment of A$3-million, to kickstart early commercialisation of hydrogen technologies, provide a hub for investment and research agencies, and provide opportunities to leverage liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure to support hydrogen exports.
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said this week that the opposition party’s hydrogen strategy was a positive development for Australia’s future energy policy.
“Converting Australian coal into hydrogen offers one of the best ways to provide a steady and reliable energy source that is not dependent on the weather.
A zero emission hydrogen solution could be delivered with advanced carbon capture and return technologies,” said MCA CEO Tania Constable.
“Australia is already leading the way. One of the world’s largest hydrogen projects, now under way in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, has attracted A$500-million in investment, including from a consortium of leading Japanese companies along with the Victorian, Australian and Japanese governments.
“This major project in Victoria will use Latrobe Valley brown coal and carbon capture and return technology and has the potential to make Victoria and Australia a leading global producer of hydrogen,” she said.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) said that the strategy would spur investment in the emerging technology.
“Australia’s LNG industry is ideally placed to support the growth of a new hydrogen export industry in Australia,” Appea CEO Dr Malcolm Roberts said.
“Australia’s LNG export success story means our industry has the technology, the expertise and the commercial and trade relationships to make hydrogen exports a reality.
“Indeed, hydrogen is already being produced from Australian LNG exports in some of our overseas markets. In the US, natural gas is the dominant source of their growing hydrogen industry,” Roberts said.