Green hydrogen vision
The Australian Government’s goal is to become the major global player in the clean hydrogen field by 2030. It seeks to further integrate renewable energy into their electricity grids via green hydrogen production and reduce dependence on imported fuel thus curbing emissions. Clean hydrogen is part of the nation’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan.
Australia has abundance of natural resources to manufacture green hydrogen for their domestic use and supply to the world. Producing “clean” hydrogen under $2 per kilogram (H₂ under 2) is a priority stretch goal for the government1. The focus of the government is to build demand and reducing hydrogen delivery costs.
Further development of the hydrogen sector has been featured prominently in the current Federal election campaign, with all the major parties committing to further investment in the hydrogen sector.
Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy released in November 2019, is a framework for governments and industry to work together to build Australia’s hydrogen industry. It includes 57 nationally coordinated government actions. The strategy addresses the barriers to development, with a focus on three areas: building demand, achieving low-cost hydrogen production at scale and reducing hydrogen delivery costs.
A key element of Australia’s approach will be to create hydrogen hubs – clusters of large-scale demand. These may be at ports, in cities, or in regional or remote areas, and will provide the industry with its springboard to scale.
The State of Hydrogen 2021 report provides an update of the significant progress on the priority actions in the strategy so far. The key indicators addressed in the report are: investment, project scales, exports, steel making, power generation, and light and heavy transport. All areas except transport and steel making sector are projected to be advancing or advancing quickly.
Capacity and capacity targets
• Green hydrogen production target: NOT IDENTIFIED
• Green hydrogen current production capacity: Approximately 95 GW of planned projects in the pipeline (Source: Rystad Energy)
• Electrolyser potential capacity: 38 GW (35 green hydrogen electrolyser projects across Australia)
• Price target: $1.2 per kg by 2030 (H2 under AUD $2)
Targets for using green hydrogen in key industries have not yet been established.
Regional hydrogen hubs: The national strategy supports the development of 7 hubs across Australia where hydrogen users, producers and potential exporters are co-located to reduce infrastructure needs and costs. One example is the Toyota Australia Hydrogen Centre, a new renewable energy hub in Altona, Victoria. It has an electrolyser and hydrogen refuelling station, solar PV and battery storage.
Sector coupling: Coupling of the electricity and export sectors, or integration of hydrogen production and end-use sectors to maximise services and benefits. For example, effective coupling of hydrogen production for export with electricity system operation could benefit both the electricity and export sectors. Electrolysers, which use electricity to produce hydrogen, can take advantage of excess power when wind and solar generators are operating at capacity. They can be rapidly ramped up or down to provide demand response and frequency control services to the electricity grid.
Direct Australian Government support for the hydrogen industry was over A$1.2 billion in June 2021
Private sector investment is growing with committed investment exceeding A$1.6 billion.
Government green hydrogen lead
- Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
- COAG Energy Council Hydrogen Working Group
- Portal: Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy