Hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel that can be used in transport, energy storage and electricity generation.
Australia is expected to become the second largest net-exporter of low-emissions hydrogen by 2030 and the largest by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency’s 2022 World Energy Outlook.
There are strong opportunities for investors in export scale projects, along with hydrogen technology, green metal manufacturing and future transport solutions. Investors will benefit from:
- Australia’s natural advantages: Ample sunshine and wind make us the ideal location to generate green hydrogen using clean energy.
- Australian Government support:
- Direct support of more than A$1.3 billion committed to accelerate hydrogen industry development
- World-leading hydrogen and energy regulation including industry-leading certification and interoperability
- Ready export markets: We are proactively developing international supply chains through multiple international partnerships to establish ourselves as a preferred supplier.
- Industry momentum: Australia has the world’s largest pipeline of announced hydrogen projects (as at June 2021, State of Hydrogen 2021 report)
- World-class expertise: Australia has a strong track record in building new large-scale industries. We grew our liquefied natural gas export industry into one of the world’s biggest and we’re on track to be a renewable energy superpower. Our record with investors in large-scale export industries is exemplary.
Hydrogen projects accounted for an estimated A$266 billion worth of potential investment in 2022 – double 2021 levels.
In 2022, Australia became the first country in the world to export hydrogen.
Source: Reuters 2022
“Europe and Australia are front runners in hydrogen production projects using water electrolysis… Australia has become a hotspot for electrolysis projects, taking advantage of its good resource conditions for solar PV and wind electricity generation. It plans to export hydrogen to high demand centres in Asia, including Japan and Korea.”
Global Hydrogen Review 2022, International Energy Agency
Australia is building a ready international market to export hydrogen.
We’re geographically close to key emerging hydrogen import markets in Asia.
And we’ve developed international partnerships to advance technologies and explore the development of international hydrogen supply chains around the world.
Our international agreements cover:
- the United Kingdom
- the Netherlands
- South Korea
- the United States.
These align with the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2022 predictions of the largest net-import markets for low-emissions hydrogen in 2050: the European Union followed by Japan and South Korea.
Australia and the Netherlands signed a milestone agreement in January 2023 to support the development of a renewable hydrogen supply chain from Australia to Europe. The Memorandum of Understanding covers trade policy, standards and certification, regulations, port infrastructure and supply chain development.
- Demand for hydrogen exported from Australia could be over 3 million tonnes each year by 2040. This could be worth up to A$10 billion each year to the economy. (Source: Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Opportunities for Australia from Hydrogen Exports.)
- Australia has hydrogen resources to supply the world. Around three per cent of Australia’s land – 262,000 square kilometres – is suitable for green hydrogen production, based on access to renewable electricity and water supplies. This could be used to make more than the 2050 predicted global demand. (Source: Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy 2019)
- Australia has more than 100 hydrogen projects in the pipeline (Source: Geoscience Australia. Australian hydrogen projects dataset, September 2022.)
- Australia has the world’s second highest number of planned electrolyser capacity projects expected to be online by 2030. The International Energy Agency reports that 28 per cent of announced projects are in Australia, 32 per cent in Europe and 12 per cent in Latin America (Source: International Energy Agency. Global Hydrogen Review 2022.)
Incentives, grants, and support
The Australian Government is investing significantly to accelerate the development of an Australian hydrogen industry.
- A$525m invested to develop eight hydrogen industrial hubs across Australia. These hubs will collocate multiple hydrogen producers, users and potential exporters. They will leverage existing industrial capabilities and workforce and minimise the cost of infrastructure such as powerlines, pipelines, storage tanks and refuelling stations.
- A$89.5 million for the Hydrogen Highways initiative to fund the creation of hydrogen refuelling stations on Australia’s busiest freight routes, in partnership with states and territories.
- A$20 billion in low-cost finance to upgrade and expand Australia’s electricity grid, supporting growth in new sectors like hydrogen and battery production.
- Up to A$3 billion of the A$15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) financing vehicle has been set aside for renewables and low emissions technologies including hydrogen electrolyers and fuel switching.
- The A$1.9 billion Powering the Regions Fund supports the decarbonization of existing industries and creation of new clean energy industries and jobs.
- Major enabling public infrastructure to support hydrogen industry development. This includes:
- A$100m support for the Port of Newcastle to become hydrogen ready
- A$1.5 billion in planned equity to develop marine infrastructure at Middle Arm the Northern Territory to open export opportunities in commodities such as green hydrogen
- A $565 million for enabling infrastructure in the Pilbara to support emerging green industries and technologies
- Various development finance facilities can provide tailored support for hydrogen-related investments including the:
- Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) which has provided $170m to 44 hydrogen projects over the past 10 years. More are in its pipeline
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which operates a $300m Advancing Hydrogen Fund
- Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.
- The Australian Government is developing a Guarantee of Origin scheme, a mechanism to track and verify emissions associated with hydrogen and other products made in Australia.
Join our thriving ecosystem
Australia has a strong foundation of hydrogen R&D skills and infrastructure that can support market activation and improve industry sustainability.
Australia ranks third in the world for publishing hydrogen research, according to Normalised Citation Impact (NCI). It ranks first in the world for research on hydrogen storage and use (Source: CSIRO, Hydrogen Research, Development and Demonstration, December 2019)
More than 30 pilot projects across Australia are developing capability in producing, storing, transporting and using hydrogen, supported by Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
The following bodies support hydrogen research, knowledge sharing and collaboration:
- Australia’s national science agency CSIRO. It operates:
- The CSIRO Hydrogen Industry Mission, which aims to build a commercially viable hydrogen industry with domestic and export value chains by 2030. This includes helping drive down the cost of hydrogen production to under $2 per kilogram.
- Knowledge sharing resource CSIRO HyResource, which maps more than 100 hydrogen-related industry projects in development in Australia. It also hosts a dataset of public hydrogen support programs and initiatives.
- Geoscience Australia, which operates the Australia Hydrogen Opportunities Tool (AusH2). This provides free access to geoscience data and tools for mapping and understanding the potential for hydrogen production in Australia.
- H2TCA IS a network of hydrogen technology clusters across Australia to support connection, collaboration and alignment in the hydrogen industry.
- The Australian Hydrogen Capability Finder, HyCapability, maps regional hydrogen ecosystems and supply chain capacity.
- Hydrogen also features in several Australian Government-supported and industry-led cooperative research centres (CRCs) including:
- Future Fuels CRC
- Blue Economy CR
- RACE for 2030 CRC
- Future Energy Exports CRC
- Heavy Industry Low-Carbon Transition CRC
Video: Hydrogen in Australia
Hydrogen is a safe, flexible and clean fuel without carbon emissions. Find out how Australia can supply the world with hydrogen.
- French energy giant Engie plans to build Australia’s biggest renewable hydrogen plant – and one of the largest in the world – with A$47.5 million in funding support from the Australian Government. The massive Yuri project, due to be completed in 2024 in Western Australia, will be capable of producing up to 640 tonnes of renewable hydrogen a year.
- Australia became the first country in the world to export hydrogen, when it shipped liquified hydrogen to Japan in 2022. It was a major milestone in the A$500 million Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project - a consortium of top energy and infrastructure companies from Australia and Japan.
- Japanese energy company ENEOS Corporation has opened a pilot green hydrogen facility in Brisbane, Queensland. The facility will use innovative technology to produce up to 20 kilograms of green hydrogen a day.
- Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola and Australian hydrogen developer ABEL Energy are building a green hydrogen and green methanol plant in the state of Tasmania. Announced in December 2022, the €1.1 billion (A$1.7 billion) Bell Bay Powerfuels project will be one of the largest in the world.
- Danish renewables giant European Energy is developing the 3,600 MW Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project, after acquiring a majority stake in Australian company Austrom in December 2022. The solar farm facilities would supply renewable energy for a planned hydrogen production plant located at the port of Gladstone in the state of Queensland in north-eastern Australia.
- Australian technology startup Hysata is a step closer to delivering the world’s lowest-cost green hydrogen after raising more than A$42 million to fund its expansion and build a pilot manufacturing plant. The company has attracted global interest in its transformative electrolyser technology, which it says will significantly improve the efficiency of producing green hydrogen and will “move the needle” for multiple industries looking to replace fossil fuels.