In 2019, Australian energy ministers shared our vision for a clean, innovative, safe and competitive Australian hydrogen industry that is a major global player by 2030 through the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy.
Aligned with the adaptive approach to the strategy, energy ministers committed to regular reporting on the progress of Australia’s hydrogen industry. I am pleased to release the inaugural State of Hydrogen report where we recognise the collaborative effort of industry and Australian governments in advancing our clean hydrogen sector. The report shows the great success of this effort to date, particularly in the areas of project scale, investment and export potential.
As 1 of 6 priority low emissions technologies under Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap, clean hydrogen is critical to Australia’s technology-led approach to reducing emissions while creating jobs and achieving economic growth. The Australian Government has so far committed over $1 billion to clean hydrogen, and this scale of investment is gaining increasing global attention, cementing Australia’s role as a world leader.
Widespread global adoption of clean hydrogen will require sustained effort to mitigate the 3 biggest barriers facing industry globally – not just in Australia – including building demand, achieving low-cost hydrogen production at scale and reducing delivery costs.
Like any nascent industry there will be challenges, and it is to be expected that demand-side indicators have slower progress than the supply side. It will take time to lower costs and to build export supply chains. Australian governments are next focusing on how to build up Australia’s demand for hydrogen products, with the strategy laying out the pathway to achieve our vision.
All levels of the government in Australia are undertaking the early actions identified in the National Hydrogen Strategy to capitalise on our nation’s natural resources and expertise and provide certainty for industry. For example, energy ministers have agreed to an expedited process to allow hydrogen and biogases to be brought within the existing regulatory framework for natural gas.
The National Hydrogen Strategy identifies hydrogen hubs as an effective means to create demand, build scale and reduce production costs by co-locating producers, exporters and users. The Australian Government is delivering on this action and investing $464 million to develop up to 7 hydrogen hubs in regional Australia. These Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs will create economies of scale and support the existing industrial infrastructure and workforces in these regions.
These hubs also offer an opportunity to showcase key trading partners’ technologies, with collaboration on research and development essential to building a global hydrogen industry.
The Australian Government is supporting this through our commitment of $565.8 million to international technology partnerships through the 2021–22 Budget. Five new low emissions technology partnerships have been announced to date, with Singapore, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea. These partnerships complement bilateral cooperation on hydrogen with the United States, as well as Australia’s involvement in multinational bodies.
Building a successful hydrogen industry for Australia can only be done through a genuine partnership between governments, industry, investors, researchers and our community. As this report shows, Australia’s clean hydrogen potential is undeniable. I would like to extend my thanks to the cooperation from industry, state and territory governments and international governments that has seen the Australian hydrogen industry set the pace for this global momentum.