SA Labor unveils $590m hydrogen plan to power new jobs and industry

SA Labor unveils $590m hydrogen plan to power new jobs and industry

A 200MW hydrogen power station, 250MWe capacity of hydrogen electrolysers and a hydrogen storage facility. That’s exactly what the Malinauskas Labor Government wants to develop in South Australia under its Hydrogen Jobs Plan, unveiled today (23rd March).

If elected in March 2022, Labor’s plans will become a reality and create tremendous opportunities for the state’s clean energy industry, at a time when South Australia has the worst employment rate in the country.

A plan that could majorly boost Australia’s clean energy future, the proposal looks to develop what SA Labor believes to be the world’s largest hydrogen production facility and power plant, where cheap, renewable energy is used to power 250MW electrolysers that separate water into oxygen and hydrogen.

That hydrogen is then stored and used to fuel a 200MW power plant, producing cheap and clean energy for South Australian industries and businesses. It’s at the next step where Australia can keep the hydrogen or export it elsewhere in the world.

SA Labor Leader Pete Malinauskas is the man behind the ambitions and hopes to have all elements of the plans fully operational by the end of 2025. To see the dream come to life, $590m will be invested in the developments.

Under his plans, Labor will establish a Hydrogen Power SA to own and operate the hydrogen power station as a government enterprise on behalf of South Australians. Hydrogen Power SA will also develop an export strategy for those seeking zero-carbon alternatives.

“As we move into the post-Covid recovery phase, South Australia needs a vision which will set our state up for the future,” Malinauskas said. “My Hydrogen Jobs Plan will attract new industry to South Australia and generate well-paid, full-time jobs for South Australians.”

“Hydrogen is central to the world’s energy future – it’s cleaner, it’s cheaper and South Australia is uniquely positions to become a world leader, with our abundant wind and solar resources.”

With employment opportunities clearly at the heart of the plan, the Malinauskas Labor Government hopes to create 300 jobs during the construction of the power station, at least 10,000 jobs from the pipeline of renewable energy projects and 900 jobs through the hydrogen export industry.

Looking forward to the opportunities such plan presents once complete, independent analysis by Frontier Economics has forecast South Australia’s hydrogen plant will reduce the wholesale cost of electricity to industry by 8%.

“South Australia has a proud legacy of leading Australia and the world on renewable energy, and this is our next leap forward. We have all the ingredients; we just need a vision,” Malinauskas continued.

“At the next state election, South Australians will have a choice: we can follow the world on energy policy and see jobs go to interstate and offshore, or we can lead the world and bring jobs here.”

Industry comments

Dr. Fiona Simon, CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council, has congratulated the Government on the announcement. “I would like to congratulate the State Labor Opposition party for its vision for an energy future powered by hydrogen,” she said.

“This plan has a clear focus on putting policy in place to secure jobs of the future, increase the state’s energy independence and reduce carbon emissions.”

“South Australia is a renewable powerhouse with an ambitious renewables agenda to reduce emissions and lower electricity prices for consumers and industrial users. Hydrogen can step in and help South Australia achieve its vision by firming electricity supply, reducing emissions from industries such as transport and manufacturing, and creating a new export industry.”

The Australian Institute has also welcomed the plans. “Clean sources of power, including green hydrogen produced from 100% renewable electricity, are the future of energy. Putting South Australia at the centre of the global energy transition is the right thing to do,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at The Australia Institute.

“South Australia is already a global leader in renewable energy and, by committing to funding and exclusively green hydrogen, the state is now leading the nation once again.”

“Other jurisdictions, including the Federal Government, have so far failed to rule out the funding of dirty, fossil fuelled hydrogen power. If they don’t catch-up with South Australia and start to invest in the clean energy technologies of the future soon, they will only be left further behind.”

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