COAG Energy Council supports National Hydrogen Strategy

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Energy Ministers met in Perth on 22 November 2019 for the twenty-second COAG Energy Council meeting to discuss energy security, reliability and affordability for all Australians.

At the meeting Ministers agreed to the National Hydrogen Strategy, which will support the development of a clean, innovative, competitive, technology-neutral and safe hydrogen industry that benefits all Australians.

The Strategy sets a path for Australia to become a major global player in the hydrogen industry by 2030 through removing market barriers, ensuring regulatory consistency and building international trade partnerships.

The Strategy looks to encourage the creation of ’hydrogen hubs’ – clusters of large-scale domestic demand that will help to establish the skills and investment needed for Australia to develop a globally competitive hydrogen export industry.

The Government has already announced $13.4 million dollars to support the Strategy. This includes working with all jurisdictions on reviewing regulatory barriers, addressing safety matters through its membership with the US Center for Hydrogen Safety and coordinating a National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment.

The Government will also work with other countries to develop the international hydrogen standards and establish trade partnerships.

Along with the $13.4 million already provided to implement and coordinate the Strategy, the Government will reserve $370 million from existing Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding to back new hydrogen projects. These funds will come from within the existing allocations to the CEFC and ARENA.

The CEFC will commit $300 million of concessional finance through a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund and ARENA will provide $70 million to kick-start electrolyser projects.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said with the National Hydrogen Strategy released it was important to give the sector a boost to help Australia realise its high potential for hydrogen production.

“The National Hydrogen Strategy maps out the steps we can take to develop a sustainable and commercial hydrogen industry,” Mr Taylor said.

“The Government is backing that in through project investment to promote our outstanding potential as a hydrogen supplier to the world.

“Importantly, hydrogen can play a role in the future energy mix to bring down energy prices, keep the lights on and reduce emissions.”

The COAG Energy Council also commissioned a series of reviews, studies, research and analysis to inform Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy.

Commissioned reports

  • Australian Hydrogen Hubs Study (Arup Australia)
  • Hydrogen for Transport: Prospective Australian Use Cases (Aurecon Australia)
  • Hydrogen Industry Legislation (Clayton Utz)
  • Australian and Global Hydrogen Demand Growth Scenario Analysis (Deloitte)
  • Hydrogen in the Gas Distribution Networks (GPA Engineering)
  • Hydrogen Impacts on Downstream Installations and Appliances (GPA Engineering)
  • Developing Community Trust in Hydrogen (University of Queensland)

Additional reports

  • International Outreach Kick-Start Project Report (Austrade)
  • Hydrogen as a Transport Fuel (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics)
  • Prospective Hydrogen Production Regions of Australia (Geoscience Australia
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