Australia’s clean energy future receives $2 billion boost with government funded hydrogen strategy
In a move that will excite clean energy enthusiasts, the Australian government announced a substantial investment of $2 billion in the annual budget aimed at scaling up the development of its renewable hydrogen industry.
The investment aims to help Australia fast-track clean energy projects and further cement its place as a leader in renewable hydrogen.
Under the “Hydrogen Headstart” program, large-scale renewable hydrogen projects will receive funding through competitive hydrogen production contracts.
The injection of funds is expected to bridge the commercial gap for early-stage projects and set Australia on track for a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity by 2030, achieved through two or three flagship projects.
Australia’s renewable hydrogen pipeline
Treasurer Jim Chalmers stated in a press release that “Australia already has the largest pipeline of renewable hydrogen projects in the world”.
Reaching the nation’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 will require significant input from renewable hydrogen, making this investment all the more crucial.
Chalmers proudly declared the government’s commitment to Australia’s energy transformation as “the biggest ever investment.”
A greener budget
Prime minister Anthony Albanese’s government is putting its money where its mouth is, allocating a whopping $4 billion to renewable energy projects in the budget.
This raises the total investment in renewable energy to over $40 billion, which comprises a segment of the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund designated for bolstering green industries.
An allocation of $38.2 million has been set aside for the establishment of a Guarantee of Origin scheme, focusing on certifying renewable energy and tracking as well as verifying emissions from clean energy products, especially hydrogen.
The government led initiatives aim at Australia as a prime investment destination, hastening investments in the nation’s hydrogen industry, and facilitating access to future markets for verified renewable and clean products.
ASX hydrogen companies rejoice
On the local bourse, hydrogen listed companies welcomed the news with Frontier Energy (ASX: FHE) having recently completed a definitive feasibility study for its Bristol Springs renewable energy project in Western Australia, now progressing funding and offtake discussions.
Pure Hydrogen (ASX: PH2) is advancing its Moreton Bay hydrogen hub project with the procurement of a designated 0.21 square kilometres of land in southeast Queensland to house the manufacturing and distribution facility.
The company intends to begin construction at the project this year, subject to approvals, with the plant being operational and generating a revenue by 2024.
Provaris Energy (ASX: PV1) has its vertically integrated Tiwi H2 green hydrogen project in the Northern Territory, while work continues gaining traction in Europe.
Recently, the company collaborated with Norwegian Hydrogen AS to complete a prefeasibility study, highlighting the possibility of delivering green hydrogen from Norway to Europe at a low cost, with the aim to begin in 2027.