Energy Ministers agreed to develop a national hydrogen strategy for consideration by the end of 2019 at the 21st COAG Energy Council meeting in Adelaide.

The strategy will look at progressing options to decarbonise Australia’s gas networks, as well as the development of a hydrogen export industry.

Energy Networks Australia CEO, Andrew Dillon, said “Hydrogen is a fuel of the future and Australia is perfectly placed to benefit from its use to help decarbonise our gas sector.”

The COAG Energy Council also agreed to progress the Group 1 projects in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan, which Mr Dillon described as an important step towards delivering better flows of power across the National Electricity Market (NEM).

“Around the world, the logical response to growing levels of variable renewable generation is to have a more connected electricity system,” Mr Dillon said.

“A more connected grid that links states will provide significant benefits to customers – better reliability and increased competition in the wholesale energy market.

“The overall savings to the electricity system from timely transmission investment have been estimated by AEMO to be about $1.2 billion – savings for customers off future power bills.”

Mr Dillon also welcomed the South Australia and New South Wales Memorandum of Understanding to progress a new electricity interconnector between the two states.

“This project will lower electricity prices in both states and improve security of power supply right across the NEM,” Mr Dillon said.

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