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State and territory government activities

New South Wales

The NSW Hydrogen Strategy

In October 2021, the NSW Government released the NSW Hydrogen Strategy, the state’s bold vision and pathway to enable NSW to be a global first mover in the hydrogen industry, with ambitious policies that capitalise on NSW’s natural strengths.

The policies set out in the strategy aim to:

  • reduce the cost of green hydrogen by $5.80 per kg in the next decade to reach under $2.80 per kg
  • provide up to $3 billion of incentives to support industry development to deliver NSW’s 2030 stretch targets of 110,000 tonnes of green hydrogen production per annum and 10,000 hydrogen heavy vehicles.

A total of 60 key actions will be implemented under the strategy, which will enable industry development and drive rapid scale. In addition to delivering an already committed $70 million to develop the state’s hydrogen hubs in the Illawarra and the Hunter regions, the strategy includes:

  • exemptions for green hydrogen production from government scheme charges
  • a 90% exemption from electricity network charges for green hydrogen producers who connect to parts of the network with spare capacity
  • a hydrogen refuelling station network to be rolled out across the state.

Hydrogen hubs

A key action of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy is the development of hydrogen hubs, initially in the Hunter and Illawarra regions. NSW has committed at least $70 million to the hydrogen hub initiative, which is targeting opening for expressions of interest in late October 2021.

The hydrogen hub initiative focuses on developing new demand and scaling up hydrogen production for multiple end uses, particularly heavy transport and industrial sectors. The initiative also enables other uses of hydrogen such as gas blending, export and electricity.

In addition, the initiative aims to foster collaboration and connections between larger, more developed projects and potential new hydrogen consumers. The NSW Government has launched a platform to drive collaboration between stakeholders and accelerate the growth of NSW’s green hydrogen industry. Contact hydrogen@planning.nsw.gov.au to access the platform.

Net Zero Industry and Innovation program

The $750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program is the NSW Government's plan to support and partner with industry to reduce emissions and help NSW businesses prosper in a low carbon world.  There are 3 areas of funding, all of which are available to hydrogen projects:

  • $380 million to help existing industries transition to low-emissions alternatives
  • $175 million to set up new low-carbon industries such as green hydrogen
  • $195 million to research and develop new clean technologies.

Tallawarra B – Australia’s first green hydrogen and gas power plant

In May 2021 the NSW Government announced it would provide $78 million in funding to support development of EnergyAustralia’s Tallawarra B 316 MW open cycle gas turbine. The Commonwealth also committed to provide $5 million in additional funding to support the plant being hydrogen‑ready. The plant will be Australia’s first dual-fuel power plant using both green hydrogen and gas.

Under the funding agreement, EnergyAustralia will offer to buy green hydrogen equivalent to over 5% of the plant’s fuel use (about 200 tonnes of green hydrogen per year) from 2025. EnergyAustralia will offset direct carbon emissions from the plant over its operational life. EnergyAustralia will also invest in engineering studies investigating if the plant can be upgraded to use more green hydrogen in future.

Australia’s first hydrogen refueller for heavy transport

Coregas is the largest Australian owned gases company. It is helping develop Australia’s hydrogen transport sector by investing in refuelling infrastructure at its Port Kembla industrial gas plant.

Coregas received funding through the NSW Government’s Port Kembla Community Investment Fund to build a hydrogen refuelling station at its Port Kembla site. The refueller will be able to dispense 450 kg of fuel cell–quality hydrogen per day at 350 bar pressure.

This project will:

  • deploy Australia’s first fleet of hydrogen fuel cell trucks
  • improve the environmental footprint of transport in the region
  • show that fuel cell vehicles are commercially viable for Australian fleets
  • showcase the technology’s potential to improve energy security, create jobs and investment, and decarbonise the transport sector.

The hydrogen refueller is expected to be operational by mid-2022. Hydrogen will be sourced from Coregas’s adjacent hydrogen production facility, which produces hydrogen from natural gas. This will reduce emissions by approximately 50% compared to the diesel trucks currently in use. Emissions could be eliminated entirely once the refueller is supplied with renewable hydrogen.

The project is a key step in building on the existing hydrogen ecosystem in Port Kembla and the Illawarra–Shoalhaven area. This area has the potential to become a thriving domestic and export hydrogen hub.

Aerial photo of a gas plant

Port Kembla Gas Terminal. Image: Squadron Energy

Victoria

The Victorian Government launched its Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan in February 2021, establishing a blueprint for an emerging renewable hydrogen industry in Victoria.

Over the next 2 years Victoria will scale up, skill up and build a strong supply chain to foster a renewable hydrogen economy. This will stimulate investment, employment, innovation and economic growth, as well as support Victoria’s clean energy transition.

Accelerating Victoria’s Hydrogen Industry Program

The Victorian Government announced the Accelerating Victoria’s Hydrogen Industry Program to support policy development, industry development and research. The program includes funding for 2 competitive grant programs:

  • The $6.2 million Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund to support renewable hydrogen pilots, trials, and demonstrations in Victoria.
  • The $1 million Renewable Hydrogen Business Ready Fund, to support Victorian businesses to take the first steps to transition to renewable hydrogen through business cases and feasibility studies.

Regional hydrogen technology clusters

The Victorian Government has partnered with National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) to co-fund regional hydrogen technology clusters in:

  • Gippsland
  • Greater Geelong
  • the Mallee
  • Clayton, Melbourne.

A Victorian Hydrogen Cluster Network will support the growth and coordination of these clusters.

Gas blending studies

The Victorian Government is a founding member of the Australian Hydrogen Centre, which is supporting a series of feasibility studies examining hydrogen blending in the natural gas network.

The centre’s regional towns report will investigate the feasibility of a 10% hydrogen blend in Ballarat and Wodonga. The centre will also investigate a 10% state-wide hydrogen blend and a 100% hydrogen network.

Hydrogen Park Murray Valley

On 5 May 2021, the Australian Government, through ARENA, committed $32.1 million from its Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Fund to a hydrogen park at Murray Valley.

Led by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group and ENGIE, the project will develop a 10 MW electrolyser at North East Water's wastewater treatment plant in Wodonga. The Victorian Government is working with the project proponents to progress the proposal.

Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Roadmap

In May 2021, the Victorian Government launched its Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Roadmap. The roadmap is supported by a $100 million support package to fast track the transition to battery and hydrogen-powered electric vehicles.

Several programs in the ZEV support package are open to hydrogen:

  • $46 million for Australia’s first public ZEV subsidy program. The program will help Victorian residents and businesses purchase new ZEVs, including hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.
  • $20 million for a ZEV public transport bus trial. The government wants all public transport bus purchases to be ZEVs from 2025.
  • $10 million to replace the Victorian Government fleet with ZEVs.
  • $5 million to establish a ZEV innovation fund for the commercial sector.

Victorian Hydrogen Hub

Through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, the Victorian Government is providing $10 million for the Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2). The project is led by Swinburne University of Technology in partnership with CSIRO and Germany’s ARENA 2036.

VH2 will:

  • support sustainable manufacturing practices
  • enable storage of clean energy from renewable sources
  • help create a sustainable future by testing, trialling and demonstrating new and emerging hydrogen technologies.

The project includes funding for:

  • a hydrogen refuelling station at CSIRO’s Clayton campus
  • implementation of a Victorian Hydrogen Industry Capability Program
  • large-scale hydrogen engagement programs to generate active partnerships with Victorian industry.

Hycel Technology Hub

The Victorian Government is providing $9 million to Deakin University’s Hycel Technology Hub through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund.

The Hycel Technology Hub will develop and manufacture hydrogen fuel technology with a focus on transport, heavy vehicles and industry applications.

As part of the project, Deakin University aims to transition its Warrnambool campus from gas to hydrogen. It also aims to convert the Warrnambool Bus Lines fleet to clean energy.

Zero Emissions Energy Laboratory

The Victorian Government is providing $4.7 million to the University of Melbourne’s Zero Emissions Energy (ZEE) Lab through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. 

Located in the Melbourne Connect Precinct, the lab will see Melbourne University work with industry to develop a range of clean energy products across the hydrogen and solar fields. 

The ZEE Lab will focus on creating new products and innovations for the commercial market, including new methods for hydrogen gas processing and fuel systems.

Other government funding

Eligible renewable hydrogen projects may be supported through the second round of the Victorian Government’s Energy Innovation Fund. Hydrogen projects were also eligible for the now-closed Business Recovery Energy Efficiency Fund.

Queensland

On 30 May 2019, the Queensland Government released the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019–2024. The strategy is a 5-year plan to grow a sustainable hydrogen industry that:

  • supports renewable resources
  • creates jobs
  • strengthens our economy.

The strategy includes 17 actions across 5 focus areas. It will allow Queensland to take advantage of emerging domestic and international renewable hydrogen opportunities.

The Queensland Government has already invested over $60 million to support the development of the hydrogen industry. This includes:

  • support for industry development activities
  • investment in education, training and skills to provide a pathway to the highly skilled jobs of the future
  • financial assistance for private sector projects through the Hydrogen Industry Development Fund.

The skills and training portion of this funding includes:

  • $20 million towards a Queensland Apprenticeships Centre, which will include a Hydrogen Training Centre of Excellence
  • $10.6 million towards a hydrogen and renewable energy training facility in Townsville
  • $2 million to upgrade training facilities at Gladstone State High School to prepare students for jobs in the hydrogen industry
  • $23 million towards the Pinkenba Renewable Energy Training Facility.

Major projects

Fortescue Future Industries

Queensland was selected for one of the world’s largest hydrogen-equipment manufacturing facilities in a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fortescue Future Industries in Gladstone. Stage one of the multi-stage project will establish Australia’s first multi-gigawatt-scale electrolyser factory, with an initial capacity of 2 GW per year.

Stanwell Corporation

Stanwell Corporation and Iwatani Corporation of Japan have secured a land site west of Gladstone for a proposed 3 GW hydrogen export facility. Japanese companies Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kansai Electric Power Company and Marubeni, and Australian energy infrastructure business APA Group, have joined the consortium with Stanwell and Iwatani.

CS Energy

CS Energy, in partnership with IHI Corporation Japan, is undertaking a feasibility study to establish a hydrogen demonstration plant next to the Kogan Creek Power Station near Chinchilla.

The project concept includes co-location of a:

  • 2 MW solar farm which will provide behind-the-meter power to the hydrogen plant
  • 2 MW battery
  • 1 MW hydrogen electrolyser
  • hydrogen fuel cell producing up to 50,000 kg of hydrogen a year.

Edify Energy

Townsville City Council formally approved the first development application over land within the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct (46 kilometres south of Townsville) by Edify Energy.

Edify Energy proposes to build and operate a renewable hydrogen production facility as well as a behind-the-meter solar photovoltaic and battery storage facility at the precinct.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between Edify Energy and the Port of Townsville to explore exporting hydrogen at the port.

Queensland Hydrogen Investor Toolkit

In May 2020 the Queensland Government released the Queensland Hydrogen Investor Toolkit as part of the strategy.

This toolkit gives investors intending to develop hydrogen projects in Queensland an overview of planning and other regulatory approvals.

Hydrogen vehicle trial

Queensland is supporting industry in the state with a 3-year trial of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in its fleet. Five Hyundai Nexos will be part of the government fleet by the end of 2021.

This commitment was important in gas company BOC’s decision to develop its $4.18 million end-to-end renewable hydrogen project in Queensland.

The project will supply BOC’s industrial customers with renewable hydrogen and create Queensland’s first permanent hydrogen vehicle refuelling station. This will replace the brown hydrogen currently transported from BOC’s production facility in Victoria.

Ministerial appointments

In November 2020, Queensland appointed a Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and an Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development.

In March 2021, the Minister appointed an expert taskforce to fast track a sustainable hydrogen supply chain and accelerate the growth of the hydrogen industry in Queensland.[47]

Hydrogen Industry Development Fund

The $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund was announced in 2019 as part of the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy.

After significant interest in the fund, the government committed another $10 million in late 2020 for a second funding round. The second round will focus on projects related to transport and integrating hydrogen into wastewater treatment plants.

The first round of the Hydrogen Industry Development invested in 4 renewable hydrogen projects.

Australian Gas Networks – Hydrogen Park Gladstone

The Queensland government will contribute up to $1.78 million to the Australian Gas Networks (AGN) gas injection project.

This project is the first in Australia to blend renewable hydrogen into a gas network with residential, commercial and industrial customers.

AGN will partner with Central Queensland University to create educational, training and research opportunities for local workers.

Sun Metals – SunHQ

Sun Metals will receive funding of up to $5 million to build North Queensland’s first renewable hydrogen facility and heavy vehicle refuelling station. The SunHQ project will be located at Sun Metals’ zinc refinery in Townsville.

Renewable hydrogen from SunHQ will be used for a range of applications. This includes 5 hydrogen fuel cell electric prime-movers in the Sun Metals fleet that operates between the refinery and the Port of Townsville.

Spicers Retreats – Scenic Rim Trail ecotourism demonstration using low pressure hydrogen

The Queensland Government will provide up to $943,000 to Spicers Retreats to build a renewable hydrogen plant. The project will demonstrate low-pressure hydride remote power systems at eco-camps on the Spicers Retreats Scenic Rim Trail.

The University of Queensland – Renewable hydrogen-powered intercampus public transport

The Queensland Government will contribute up to $4.8 million to the University of Queensland’s $16.2 million project to replace 2 diesel-powered intercampus buses. The buses will be replaced with hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, creating a sustainable transport solution for staff and students.

The intercampus shuttles make the 162-kilometre round trip between Gatton and St Lucia 4 times a day, 5 days a week.

Western Australia

In July 2019 the Western Australian Government released the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy 

The strategy sets out 4 priority strategic focus areas:

  • export
  • remote applications
  • hydrogen blending in natural gas networks
  • transport

Goals to 2030 include:

  • WA's market share in global hydrogen exports is similar to its share in LNG today. 
  • WA's gas pipelines and networks contain up to 10% renewable hydrogen blend. 
  • Renewable hydrogen is used in mining haulage vehicles. 
  • Renewable hydrogen is a large fuel source for transportation in regional WA.

In March 2021, Western Australia appointed the state’s first Minister for Hydrogen Industry.

To date, the WA Government has allocated around $90 million to support the establishment of the renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia. 

Already 10 feasibility studies and 5 capital works projects have been supported through the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Fund (see case study of Horizon Power’s Denham Hydrogen Demonstration Plant) delivering demand stimulation and project activation. A series of public knowledge sharing reports have been developed from completed feasibility studies.

The state government is also developing hydrogen hubs in the Mid West and Pilbara regions, including a $47.5 million commitment to upgrade infrastructure in the Oakajee Strategic Industrial area in the Mid West.

In October 2021, the state government opened $10 million of funding opportunities through the Hydrogen Fuelled Transport Program. The program is aimed at stimulating local demand for green hydrogen and to kickstart take-up of hydrogen-fuelled commercial vehicles. Projects will be assessed in the first quarter of 2022.

The Western Australian Government is currently working with private sector proponents on more than 6 gigawatt-scale production sites. Many of these have been granted special project lead agency status and/or special access arrangement, and are on tenure pathways. More land tenure options for proponents are being developed.

The Western Australian Government is also investigating opportunities in upstream and downstream manufacturing including:

  • using hydrogen in the Collie area for the production of green products such as green aluminium and green cement.
  • supporting research into the viability of local environmentally sustainable production of green products including aluminium, cement and green steel, and have made a $1 million allocation to support this work.
  • building components required for renewable hydrogen projects such as electrolysers and wind turbines. $10 million is committed towards wind turbine manufacturing. This includes the development of a full feasibility study which is likely to be completed in mid-2022.

The state government is also delivering regulatory work to address potential barriers to industry:

  • A gas blending study will consider the technical, economic and regulatory impacts of hydrogen on the distributed gas network.
  • Development of a supply chain model for large scale hydrogen exports.
  • Investigating potential hydrogen storage locations, to assist with large scale export.

More broadly, the WA Government has committed funding to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen to support the establishment of local manufacturing and to drive international investment attraction for renewable hydrogen through:

  • $206 million for renewable energy initiatives
  • $118 million to invest in future climate related initiatives
  • $100 million for a New Industries Fund
  • $50 million Industrial Land Fund to help unlock strategic industrial sites.

Horizon Power’s Denham Hydrogen Demonstration Plant

Horizon Power is developing a hydrogen demonstration plant in Denham, Western Australia. It will be Australia’s first project testing the technical capability of hydrogen as a power source in remote microgrids.

Denham’s power supply assets are approaching the end of their useful life. So Horizon Power used the opportunity to upgrade Denham’s existing diesel power station to support more renewable energy and green hydrogen.

The project received $2.6 million funding from the Australian Government as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The Western Australian Government provided another $5.7 million (including $1 million from the Renewable Hydrogen Fund) as part of its WA Recovery Plan.

The demonstration plant will use solar and renewable hydrogen generation and storage to provide 526 MWh of renewable energy every year. This is equivalent to the energy needed to power 100 homes.

The project will reduce Denham’s reliance on diesel power, lowering carbon emissions and helping preserve the region’s pristine World Heritage coastline.

The hydrogen plant will consist of:

  • a 704 kW solar farm
  • a 348 kW electrolyser
  • hydrogen compression and storage
  • a 100 kW fuel cell.

Horizon Power will further increase the renewable energy produced in Denham by building another 640 kW solar farm alongside the hydrogen plant’s solar farm.

The project will let Horizon Power explore if hydrogen can be used in other regional microgrid power systems across Western Australia. It will also help advance hydrogen development across Australia.

South Australia

South Australia is accelerating the hydrogen economy, having released its Hydrogen Roadmap in September 2017. This was followed by South Australia’s Hydrogen Action Plan in September 2019 and the Hydrogen Export Modelling Tool and Prospectus in October 2020.

South Australia’s strong renewable energy sector will underpin its hydrogen economy. The state is well placed to be a major producer and exporter of clean hydrogen thanks to its:

  • cheap renewable energy
  • extensive natural gas and carbon capture and storage resources
  • supportive regulatory regime. 

South Australia has a $20 billion development pipeline of renewable generation projects and is at the forefront of the international transition to variable renewable energy.

Hydrogen funding

South Australia has already awarded around $40 million in grants and loans to 3 megawatt-scale hydrogen projects:

  • Australian Gas Networks (AGN) HyP SA – AGN (part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group) recently launched its $14.5 million demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide’s southern suburbs (see case study below).
  • The Hydrogen Utility (H2U) Eyre Peninsula Gateway – H2U is developing a world‑leading $240 million hydrogen project near Whyalla. The project will boast a 75 MW electrolyser, which can produce enough hydrogen to make 40,000 tonnes of ammonia each year.
  • Neoen Australia Hydrogen Superhub – Neoen is investigating constructing a renewable hydrogen production facility powered by its Crystal Brook Energy Park.

Port Bonython infrastructure

South Australia’s Hydrogen Export Modelling Tool has identified Port Bonython as a prospective hydrogen hub that can export clean hydrogen to national and global markets.

Infrastructure investment in Port Bonython so far includes a $37 million upgrade of the Port Bonython jetty. 

International engagement

In July 2019, South Australia joined the Japanese-led Green Ammonia Consortium.

In March 2021, the state signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate clean hydrogen exports to the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

South Australia will continue engaging with international parties on project development and technology adoption.

Legislative reform

In 2021 the South Australian Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 was amended to allow hydrogen and its derivatives to be transported though pipelines. Further potential changes will enable green hydrogen the same efficient regulatory framework afforded to the oil and gas industry. 

Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA)

Located just south of Adelaide in the Tonsley Innovation District, HyP SA was officially opened on 19 May 2021.

Supported by a $4.9 million grant from the South Australia Government, the $14.5 million project houses Australia’s largest electrolyser. The 1.25 MW electrolyser is powered by solar and wind energy and produces renewable hydrogen.

HyP SA’s parent company, Australian Gas Networks, is blending approximately 5% renewable hydrogen into its natural gas network to supply more than 700 homes. They are some of the first homes in the world to use renewable gas from a mains network.

Photo of a large industrial structure at HyP SA. A sign on it reads ‘Hydrogen purification’

Australian Gas Networks – Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA). Image: Australian Gas Infrastructure Group

Tasmania

The Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan was released on 2 March 2020. It has 4 pillars covering 25 actions.

Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program

The Tasmanian Government’s 2020–21 Budget included $50 million to implement the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program. The funding will support feasibility studies and infrastructure project proposals.

$2.6 million from the first funding round will be used to support 4 feasibility studies:

  • Origin Energy is looking at developing a large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia plant.
  • ABEL Energy will investigate deploying a 100 MW electrolyser plant to produce green hydrogen and methanol.
  • Grange Resources will explore using hydrogen to replace natural gas for industrial heating.

Also announced was Fortescue Future Industries’ potential development of a 250 MW hydrogen and green ammonia production facility.

Industry activation study

Tasmania has completed an industry activation study. This study investigated offtake opportunities to support the first phase of hydrogen production in Tasmania. An overview of the outcomes of the study, including funding towards a hydrogen fuel cell bus trial, is available on the Renewables Tasmania website. This and other initial demonstration projects will help provide a pathway to large-scale production projects.

International engagement

Tasmania is exploring areas for collaboration and cooperation with key international partners.

The state will sign memorandums of understanding where there is mutual benefit for:

  • research, development and demonstration
  • innovative and advanced manufacturing technologies
  • future export.

Bell Bay hydrogen production hub

The Tasmanian Government is developing a proposal for a green hydrogen export hub at Bell Bay, a key industrial hub.

The government has announced another $200,000 to support the hydrogen technology cluster led by Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone. This funding will contribute to community engagement on hydrogen and link emerging industry participants with skills development.

H2TAS

The H2TAS project, led by Woodside Energy and Countrywide Renewable Energy, was not successful through ARENA’s Hydrogen Funding Round. However, Woodside is still committed to the 10 MW project.

The Tasmanian Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Woodside to support the project proposal.

Blue Economy CRC – development of an offshore hydrogen microgrid

The Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is working with Optimal Group, Macquarie Group and University of Tasmania to develop an offshore hydrogen microgrid in Tasmania.

The demonstration project will be one of the first hydrogen microgrids in the world to be installed offshore. It will contribute to the CRC’s research as part of a multipurpose zone to develop the blue economy. 

The CRC will bring the aquaculture and renewable energy sectors together for the first time. This will address the challenges of offshore food and energy production by taking advantage of co-location, vertical integration, infrastructure and shared services.

Phase 1 of the project involves testing the hydrogen microgrid onshore while connected to the grid and Tasmania’s abundant renewable energy resources.

A 700 kW electrolyser from ITM Power will be installed in early 2022, making it the first industrial-scale hydrogen production source in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government is working with the Blue Economy CRC to determine how the hydrogen produced during Phase 1 can be used to support an early-stage hydrogen demonstration project. Following onshore testing, the microgrid will be deployed offshore. This phase will enable world-leading research into using hydrogen offshore to firm microgrids that are not suited to direct grid connection.

The microgrid technology can be co-located with renewable generation. Hydrogen generation can provide backup storage and grid firming at times of low power generation. Meanwhile, oxygen produced in the electrolysis process benefits associated aquaculture activities.

The development of the offshore hydrogen microgrid builds upon current R&D in the Blue Economy CRC including: 

Australian Capital Territory

Zero emissions vehicles

In April 2018, the ACT Government released its Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan 2018–21.[48]

The plan will accelerate the use of zero-emissions vehicles, including:

  • battery electric vehicles
  • hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
  • electric bikes.

The plan calls for all newly leased ACT Government fleet passenger vehicles to be zero-emissions vehicles (where fit for purpose) from the 2020–21 financial year.

The ACT Government offers a stamp duty exemption for new zero-emissions vehicles, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. It also waives registration fees on newly registered zero-emissions vehicles for the first 2 years of registration. These initiatives are aimed at encouraging more Canberrans to purchase zero-emissions vehicles.

Natural gas transition

In September 2019, the ACT Government released the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019–25.[49] The strategy outlines how the ACT will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions beyond the 100% renewable electricity generation target achieved in 2020.

One action in the strategy is developing a plan for zero emissions from natural gas use by 2045. The transition plan will be released by 2024, letting the ACT Government develop a policy that:

  • accounts for potential developments in zero emissions technologies and green alternatives to natural gas (including biogas and hydrogen)
  • phases out fossil fuel gas in the ACT by 2045
  • supports energy grid stability
  • supports vulnerable households.

Funding support for a renewable hydrogen knowledge economy

The ACT is well positioned to play a role in the renewable hydrogen knowledge economy. The ACT Government’s renewables reverse auctions and Renewable Energy Innovation Fund have supported several cutting-edge renewable hydrogen research, development, and demonstration activities.

These activities demonstrate the ACT’s commitment to achieving a net zero emissions economy while supporting economic development in Australia’s renewable hydrogen knowledge economy for the future.

Hydrogen projects in the Australian Capital Territory

Australia’s first publicly available hydrogen refuelling station

The ACT Government delivered Australia’s first public hydrogen refuelling station in partnership with Neoen, Hyundai, ActewAGL and SG Fleet.

The refuelling station was officially launched on 26 March 2021. The project also saw 20 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles integrated into the ACT Government fleet.

This pilot project will give Canberra-based industry and researchers firsthand insights into hydrogen refuelling operating models, transport supply chains and consumer refuelling patterns.

The project came out of the ACT Government’s reverse auctions to achieve 100% renewable electricity.

A hydrogen-powered car parked in front of a hydrogen refuelling station with the ActewAGL logo

Australian Capital Territory Refuelling Station

Evoenergy hydrogen test facility

Evoenergy and Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) have partnered to build a hydrogen test facility at CIT Fyshwick. Opened in December 2018, it is Australia’s first facility testing 100% hydrogen on existing materials, equipment and work practices in preparation for hydrogen use in gas networks.

CIT has also used the facility to train gas-fitting students in piping and appliance installation for hydrogen, as well as for ongoing training of apprentices.

The Australian National University (ANU) has used the facility for undergraduate projects and is now incorporating it into further materials and hydrogen research.

Hydrogen research and development

The ANU is partnering with research and industry stakeholders in various hydrogen research and educational activities.

Through the ACT’s 100% renewables reverse auction, Global Power Generation Australia is supporting a 20-year investment worth $1.5 million. The funding will help boost Australia's hydrogen economy and power new hydrogen research.

ANU researchers have demonstrated unprecedented solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency. The technology has been voted a top 10 innovation with the potential to transform society by a distinguished forum established by the Japanese Government.

Through the ARC Linkage funding, the ANU is developing the liquid organic hydrogen storage, together with a regulatory study on removing barriers to commercialise the technology in future.

The ANU’s Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific Grand Challenge is undertaking research on hydrogen fuels and hydrogen certification.

ACT Renewable Hydrogen Technology Cluster

In February 2021, Canberra became one of the 13 regional hydrogen clusters across the country to receive seed funding from National Energy Resources Australia’s $1.85m investment.

The ACT Renewable Hydrogen Cluster will work closely with industry and government on:

  • renewable hydrogen technology development
  • policy pilots
  • coordinated hydrogen education and training.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Renewable Hydrogen Strategy was released in July 2020. The strategy outlines the Northern Territory’s approach of:

  • taking advantage of current and emerging opportunities
  • playing to its strengths
  • adapting its approach as technology and market conditions evolve.

Renewable remote power

The Northern Territory Government is seeking to partner with external investors to advance renewable energy in remote areas.

This includes developing a framework for external investment to supply renewable energy to the Northern Territory’s 72 remote communities. The framework will target on average 70% renewables and the use of innovative technologies like renewable hydrogen. Current work is mapping the best renewables pathway for each community based on:

  • existing energy assets
  • community aspirations
  • electricity demand
  • predicted growth.

In addition, the Aqua Aerem renewable hydrogen pilot project uses innovative technology to capture water from the atmosphere, securing a clean and sustainable water source to produce renewable hydrogen. The next stage of the project will produce renewable hydrogen for blending in gas generators at Tennant Creek.

Renewable Hydrogen Master Plan

The Northern Territory Renewable Hydrogen Master Plan is being developed to:

  • identify foundation actions to reduce risk for investment in renewable hydrogen
  • provide an adaptive pathway to guide future growth and industry development
  • provide a framework for an export-scale renewable hydrogen industry in the Northern Territory
  • focus on the enabling activities needed to secure external investment and ensure benefits are accessible to all Territorians.

Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, Darwin

The Northern Territory Government is transforming Darwin’s Middle Arm Peninsula into a globally competitive sustainable development precinct. The precinct will focus on:

  • low emission petrochemicals
  • renewable hydrogen
  • carbon capture, use and storage
  • minerals processing.

Middle Arm will support a large-scale hydrogen export industry and other advanced gas‑based and critical minerals manufacturing projects.

Development of the precinct is being accelerated by:

  • mapping the industrial ecologies that will create the greatest value
  • performing project finance assessments including demand analysis, revenue forecasting and economic benefit models
  • supporting ecosystem readiness through precinct master planning
  • supporting investment decisions by identifying the right partners, funding and incentive opportunities
  • delivering service level supports to welcome investment and demonstrate the Northern Territory is prepared, engaged and ready to support the development of Middle Arm
  • leading commercial activation to enable downstream investment.

The outcomes of these planning activities will be detailed in the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct Masterplan, expected to be released in 2022.