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Australia will ramp up hydrogen funding to boost clean energy production
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 20 - 09 - 2021

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that his country is seeking to step up funding for hydrogen projects to boost clean energy production, in response to international pressure to set more ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.
"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," Morrison said in a joint statement with Energy Minister Angus Taylor.
He announced that his government would provide an additional A$150 million ($108 million) for a further two locations under the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program to enable the rollout of hydrogen hubs across seven priority regional sites, adding that the total grants provided was A$464 million ($336 million).
The announcement comes before Morrison heads to Washington for talks with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to discuss climate policy.
Australia's conservative government has resisted international pressure to commit to a net zero emissions target by 2050 after a UN climate report was released last month that called for a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Australia is facing increasing political and economic pressure due to the worsening climate, as the country has suffered in recent years from severe droughts, wildfires, floods and coastal erosion, among other disasters.
The Morrison government's $1.2 billion hydrogen investment is set to increase, boosting economic activity and jobs in regional Australia. The two locations under the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program will enable the rollout of hydrogen hubs across seven priority regional sites.
Hydrogen is a clean fuel of the future, and Australia will commercialize this technology by co-locating hydrogen production and industrial uses, and building on the infrastructure and workforces of regional areas.
Hubs will consolidate Australia's natural resource strengths to unlock cheap, clean energy and stimulate a potential surge in industrial activity.
Government funding will help to de-risk projects and quickly achieve the scale necessary to establish new export industries and meet the growing energy needs of the Indo Pacific region.
Seven prospective locations across Australia have been identified and include: Bell Bay (TAS), Darwin (NT), Eyre Peninsula (SA), Gladstone (QLD), Latrobe Valley (VIC), Hunter Valley (NSW), and Pilbara (WA).
Morrison said these hydrogen hubs would create jobs across Australia and fast-track Australia's push to be a global leader in the new energy economy.
"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," he 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.
"This is good for jobs, good for our environment and contributes to our global effort to reduce emissions through technology not taxes."
Taylor said Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs will create the domestic demand needed to help the hydrogen industry drive down costs and scale-up production creating new job opportunities for our regions.
"Hydrogen hubs are crucial to realizing the Morrison government's vision of making Australia a major global player in hydrogen production and exports by 2030," Taylor said.
"We are looking to partner with industry, and work with state and territory governments to make this a reality.
"Australia has the potential to be a world leader in the production of affordable and clean hydrogen, and our hydrogen industry could create around 8,000 new Australian jobs and generate over $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050.
"The development of Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs would help the emerging industry work towards achieving the stretch goal of hydrogen production at under $2 a kilogram under the government's Technology Investment Roadmap.
"Accelerating the commercial deployment of priority low emissions technologies such as hydrogen so they reach cost parity with higher emissions alternatives is critical to Australia's technology led approach to reducing emissions.
"A thriving hydrogen sector will help Australia to achieve its emission-reduction goals while continuing to grow our economy and support existing industries."
Hydrogen hubs, as identified by the National Hydrogen Strategy as a priority measure, will create economies of scale by co-locating hydrogen producers, users and exporters in one location.
The Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hub Grants program will build on the work being done by the Special Adviser on Low Emissions Technology, Dr. Alan Finkel, to broker international partnerships and initiatives that will accelerate the deployment of hydrogen and other priority low emissions technologies.
Cooperation on hydrogen forms part of new low emissions partnerships with Germany, Singapore, Japan and the United Kingdom announced in 2021.
While the hydrogen program is open Australia-wide, the seven locations have been identified based on strong interest and activity from industry and each location's existing capabilities, infrastructure and resources. — Agencies


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