Following the release of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy, the Australian Government is launching a funding package focused on growing an innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.
Along with the $13.4m already provided to implement and coordinate the strategy, the government will reserve $370m from existing Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding to back new hydrogen projects.
These funds will come from within the existing allocations to the CEFC and to ARENA.
The CEFC will commit $300m of concessional finance through a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund and ARENA will provide $70m to kick-start electrolyser projects.
This package takes the government’s commitments to the hydrogen industry to over $500m since 2015.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said with the National Hydrogen Strategy released it was important to give the sector a boost to help Australia realise its high potential for hydrogen production.
“The National Hydrogen Strategy maps out the steps we can take to develop a sustainable and commercial hydrogen industry,” said Taylor.
“The government is backing that in through project investment to promote our outstanding potential as a hydrogen supplier to the world.”
“Importantly, hydrogen can play a role in the future energy mix to bring down energy prices, keep the lights on and reduce emissions.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said Australia was positioned to become a major global player by 2030, having the resources and experience to take advantage of increasing global momentum for clean hydrogen.
“There is potential for thousands of new jobs, many in regional areas, and billions of dollars in economic growth between now and 2050, with key energy export markets such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan taking action to diversify their energy sources,” Canavan said.
“We can help them do just that. Australia is already one of the world’s largest and most reliable and trusted energy suppliers and hydrogen will be one more energy export we can supply to existing and new markets.”
“All levels of government, private industry and the research community will now have the opportunity to help us realise our hydrogen potential and reap rewards for the economy, the community and the environment.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that while the CEFC is already able to invest in hydrogen technologies, the creation of the Advancing Hydrogen Fund sends a clear signal to the market that the government is committed to investments in hydrogen projects.
“Significant levels of new investment will be needed to successfully commercialise and scale a global hydrogen industry. We believe Australia is well placed to help contribute to the growth of this emerging industry,” Cormann said.
“In establishing the Advancing Hydrogen Fund, we are creating the appropriate policy and regulatory settings to drive increased investment in hydrogen.”