Western Australia will be a significant producer, exporter and user of renewable hydrogen. That’s the vision of the new Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy launched last week (18th July) by the McGowan Government.
As the world moves to a low-carbon future, hydrogen offers diverse applications as an energy carrier and chemical feedstock. It also has great potential to support decarbonisation of the world’s energy and industrial sectors. Because of this, there is a growing global demand for renewable and low-emission hydrogen.
Western Australia features vast renewable energy sources including solar and wind, extensive land mass, a strong existing energy export sector and proximity to Asia where key markets such as Japan and Korea have signalled a shift towards low emissions hydrogen for the future.
The production and export of renewable hydrogen presents an opportunity for Western Australia to support international decarbonisation efforts, while also supporting Australia’s commitments to the Paris Agreement.
The strategy says the value of Australia’s potential low-emissions hydrogen exports could reach $2.2bn by 2030 and $5.7bn by 2040.
“Renewable hydrogen is another emerging technology that will play an important role in tomorrow’s energy mix,” Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, said.
“This Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy builds on the State’s renewables potential, technical expertise and global reputation to further position Western Australia as a key player in future energies.”
“The Strategy will look at developing Western Australia’s domestic production capabilities and opportunities for downstream processing. It will also look at ways to drive local content, so Western Australian suppliers are in the box seat to capitalise on the potential of hydrogen.”
The strategy outlines by 2022:
- A project is approved to export renewable hydrogen from Western Australia
- Renewable hydrogen is being used in one remote location in Western Australia
- Renewable hydrogen is distributed in a Western Australian gas network
- A refuelling facility for hydrogen vehicles is available in Western Australia
- Western Australia’s market share in global hydrogen exports is similar to its share in LNG today
- Western Australia’s gas pipelines and networks contain at least 10% renewable hydrogen blend
- Renewable hydrogen is widely used in mining haulage vehicles
- Renewable hydrogen is a significant fuel source for transportation in regional Western Australia
The government will support investment by establishing a $10m Renewable Hydrogen Fund to facilitate private sector investment in the renewable hydrogen industry.
Regional Development Minister Allannah MacTiernan commented, “This is a major opportunity for Western Australia, however it will not occur without significant investment and lead times: this strategy and our Renewable Hydrogen Fund are the first steps down that path.”
“We need to build our domestic hydrogen market and our skills base, to drive the transition for our existing industries and capitalise on this opportunity for WA’s economy, supporting regional jobs and growth.”
“We thank the Renewable Hydrogen Council and the CSIRO whose analysis and recommendations have informed this landmark strategy. The Council will remain in place to provide strategic advice to the WA Government on the development of the industry.”