National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) has unveiled new funding and industry support for Australia’s emerging hydrogen and energy technology businesses in a bid to create a network of hydrogen technology clusters around the country.
The Regional Hydrogen Technology Clusters Seed Funding Programme has been designed to build the skills, capacities and commercialisation opportunities necessary to unlock Australia’s enormous potential to create a globally competitive hydrogen industry that could add $11bn by 2050.
The programme will provide seed funding of up to $100,000 per successful applicant to develop a hydrogen technology cluster.
NERA is seeking expressions of interest from businesses with a clear focus on commercial outcomes, that can demonstrate a commitment and capability to establish and/or grow a hydrogen technology cluster in a specified region within Australia.
Miranda Taylor, NERA CEO, said once established, the network of regional clusters will accelerate the development of hydrogen technology and expertise and will play a central role in connecting with one another to establish the national cluster, which is proposed to operate as a virtual network.
“NERA’s National Hydrogen Cluster strategy is focussed on developing a global identity and recognised brand for Australian hydrogen technology and expertise, but to get to this goal, we need a bottom-up approach that taps into networks and capabilities that already exist,” she said.
“These technology-focussed clusters will link to the regional infrastructure hubs — including around key industrial ports — identified in The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council’s National Hydrogen Strategy, that will be required to produce hydrogen for domestic and export markets and to achieve scale and sector coupling.”
“To realise this potential, we are developing regional clusters around key hydrogen projects and technology supply chains in strategic locations that have a demonstrated capacity to support them, thereby creating long-term local cohesion and sustainable capability across the emerging hydrogen value chain.”
Applications for the Seed Funding Program are open now, with submissions closing on 14th October (2020). Successful applications will be announced in November (2020).