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Backing Australian hydrogen industry to grow jobs, economy and exports

4 May 2020

Joint Media Release with Senator The Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and Leader of the Government in the Senate

The Liberal National Government is backing Australia to become a world leader in hydrogen production and exports by establishing the Advancing Hydrogen Fund.

The new $300 million fund created by the Government will finance projects focused on growing a clean, innovative and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia. It is the Government’s first financing fund that is dedicated to hydrogen projects.

The Fund will back projects that align with priorities under the National Hydrogen Strategy. This includes areas such as advancing hydrogen production, developing export and domestic supply chains, establishing hydrogen hubs and backing projects that build domestic demand for hydrogen.

The Advancing Hydrogen Fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and will provide concessional finance for projects that will support a national hydrogen industry.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Government is drawing on the energy and financial markets expertise of the CEFC, which has invested more than $7.7 billion in clean energy so far, to help drive investment in hydrogen. 

“This new fund will be a catalyst for the future growth of Australia’s hydrogen industry, which has the potential to boost Australia’s energy security, while creating more new jobs across the country and becoming a major new export industry,” Senator Cormann said.

“There are many innovative Australian organisations working to advance the hydrogen industry and this fund will support that work. Our Government is very committed to backing technological advances in the hydrogen industry."

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the Advancing Hydrogen Fund met a commitment in the National Hydrogen Strategy, launched at the COAG Energy Council meeting in November last year to build Australia's hydrogen industry into a global export industry by 2030.

“The Australian Government has a strong commitment to building a hydrogen industry which will create jobs, many in regional areas, and billions of dollars in economic growth between now and 2050,” said Mr Taylor. 

“Importantly, if we can get hydrogen produced at under $2 a kilogram, it will be able to play a role in our domestic energy mix to bring down energy prices and keep the lights on. 

“Our hydrogen industry has the ability to make a tremendous positive impact both at home and overseas. From cheaper energy bills and job creation in regional Australia, to playing a role in reducing global emissions both at home and in countries that buy Australian produced hydrogen, the industry’s potential cannot be ignored.”

Minister Taylor also noted that according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, this $300 million fund, along with the recently opened $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round administrated by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is one of largest commitments to the hydrogen sector made by any government in the world.

The Government has set an economic goal for hydrogen of ‘H2 under 2’ - that is hydrogen at or under $2 per kilogram – the first technology goal in the Technology Investment Roadmap. That’s the point where hydrogen becomes competitive with alternative energy sources in large-scale deployment across our energy systems. This goal is essential to drive down the cost of new technologies, and the Advancing Hydrogen Fund will help to achieve this price point. 

The Government has issued the CEFC with a revised investment mandate, to make up to $300 million available for the Advancing Hydrogen Fund. 

The Australian Government through the CEFC has delivered significant projects in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, transport, agriculture and energy from waste sectors, facilitating almost $28 billion of clean energy projects Australia-wide since its inception.

In total, the Government has now made available over $500 million in support for hydrogen projects since 2015. These industry partnerships will help develop tangible solutions allowing hydrogen to have a future role in providing affordable and reliable energy for all Australians.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Minister Taylor's Office 02 6277 7120

Minister Cormann's Office 02 6277 7400