Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an additional $150 million for a further two locations under the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program.
The program will enable the rollout of hydrogen hubs across now seven priority regional sites, boosting economic activity and jobs in regional Australia.
The Australian Hydrogen Council (AHC) welcomed the announcement, with Chief Executive Officer Dr Fiona Simon calling the extra funding a serious investment in Australia’s hydrogen future.
“Committing grant funding of $464 million to support feasibility studies and construction is another important step forward,” Dr Simon said.
Dr Simon also stated the decision to increase the number of hubs from five to seven was good news for getting the industry to scale.
The seven locations have been identified based on strong interest and activity from the industry and each location’s existing capabilities, infrastructure and resources.
Locations include Bell Bay (TAS), Darwin (NT), Eyre Peninsula (SA), Gladstone (QLD), Latrobe Valley (VIC), Hunter Valley (NSW), and Pilbara (WA).
“We now await broader planning and regulatory architecture being put into place to enable hydrogen to reach commercial scale,” Dr Simon said.
According to Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions Angus Taylor, the hydrogen industry could create around 8,000 new Australian jobs and generate over $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050.
Mr Taylor added that accelerating the commercial deployment of priority low emissions technologies is critical to Australia’s approach to reducing emissions.
Government funding will help to de-risk projects and quickly achieve a scale necessary to establish new export industries and meet the growing energy needs of the Indo Pacific region.
“Our plan to invest and develop low emissions industries will mean more jobs for Australian workers, particularly in our regions, cheaper energy for businesses and lower emissions,” Mr Morrison said.
“We are accelerating the development of our Australian hydrogen industry and it is our ambition to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world, transforming our transport, energy, resources and manufacturing sectors.”
Program guidelines are now available at business.gov.au.