Australia urgently needs a Net Zero Fund to prioritise funding for hydrogen-based decarbonisation projects such as heavy transport and ammonia production, Australian Hydrogen Council said.
In its first-ever white paper called ‘Unlocking Australia’s Hydrogen Opportunity’, the Australian Hydrogen Council charts the path to the country achieving net-zero emissions with the assistance of the emerging hydrogen industry. It has proposed eight actionable recommendations to enable hydrogen economy in Australia:
- Plan in the national interest
- Establish a Net Zero Fund
- Prioritise hard to abate and scalable demand sources
- Build sector coupling into planning
- Blend hydrogen into natural gas to create demand
- Trial heavy transport
- Incentivise markets in FCEVs
- Support hydrogen for hard-to-abate industries
Regarding its Net Zero Fund, it has recommended that the Australian government establish a Net Zero Fund, with an initial allocation of $10 billion. The fund will help close the economic gap for applications driving significant sources of demand will scale up the industry and drive down costs. The proposed funding body could potentially subsume Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The council stressed that to achieve the ‘H2 under $2’ target set in the Government’s Low Emissions Technology Statement require a further significant demonstration of government commitment to implementation and market development.
There is a need for significant investment to build hydrogen infrastructure such as large scale electrolysers, renewable electricity, hydrogen storage, water and water pipelines, electricity infrastructure, CCS, hydrogen pipelines, refuelling stations etc.
Dr Fiona Simon, CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council, said, “The billions of dollars of future GDP envisioned in the National Hydrogen Strategy will only be realised with a significant down-payment.”