A renewable hydrogen target set by the Western Australian Government is likely to increase costs for the state’s electricity consumers, the Australian Energy Council (AEC) warns.

The AEC’s Western Australian Policy Manager, Graham Pearson, said “The Western Australian Government’s one per cent target will not decarbonise the grid and will only increase costs to generators, retailers and consumers.

“One of our main objections to the Renewable Hydrogen Target is that the electricity sector and consumers are being used to subsidise the hydrogen sector and artificially stimulate demand.”

“The cost of producing hydrogen to decarbonise the electricity grid is expected to be prohibitive for the next few decades without exorbitant subsidies, while retrofitting existing plant to use hydrogen would be neither quick nor low cost. And guess where those costs will ultimately land – on power bills.

“We all want hydrogen to succeed, but it is some way off and needs to get over a number of significant technical hurdles to be economically viable.

“There are other ways to support development of the technology. Industries such as steel makers are heavy carbon emitters, able to easily replace natural gas with renewable hydrogen, and are far better placed to support the establishment of the hydrogen sector,” Mr Pearson said.

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