Interest in hydrogen is growing both internationally and domestically, as industry and governments around the world investigate and execute on decarbonisation strategies.
In Australia, State, Territory and Commonwealth governments are agreed significant opportunity exists for Australia to become a major producer of hydrogen for domestic use and for export. To move forward in creating a pathway for Australia to take advantage of this growing hydrogen industry, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council formed the National Hydrogen Strategy Taskforce (the Taskforce) in December 2018.
The aim of the Taskforce is to build “a clean, innovative and competitive hydrogen industry that benefits all Australians and for Australia to be a major global player by 2030.”1 In addition, the COAG Energy Council has agreed to investigate three domestic ‘kick start’ projects to provide an initial boost to the Australia domestic hydrogen industry. These projects include the use of hydrogen in gas networks, the potential for hydrogen refuelling stations in each state and territory and to undertake co-ordinated international outreach to keep building Australia’s profile as a potential supplier to major trading partners.
The opportunity identified by this analysis suggests that, if Australia were to secure the same global market share percentage as Australia has today for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), then the hydrogen sector could produce an increase to Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of up to $26 billion on a Net Present Value (NPV) basis and 16,900 jobs by 2050.
Hydrogen as a molecule (H2) is a colourless, odourless, non-toxic gas. Hydrogen bonds easily with other elements, making it extremely rare in its free form, and requiring transformation to produce hydrogen that is useable for energy storage and transport. Hydrogen is an energy carrier with some of the energy required to produce hydrogen released subsequently at the point of use – usually as heat through
combustion or as electricity in a fuel cell.
Hydrogen as a clean energy carrier and feedstock is the subject of growing international interest.
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