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Hydrogen - for growth and lower emissions

Canberra

14 October 2020

Hello ministers and colleagues.

Thank you to Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr. Kajiyama, for the opportunity to speak today.

As we look towards recovery from COVID-19, Australia is backing new and emerging technologies that will create jobs, strengthen our economy and reduce emissions. 

For Australia, this 3rd Hydrogen Energy Ministerial meeting could not be more timely. 

We have just released the Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement under our Technology Investment Roadmap. 

The Roadmap sets out a clear plan to lower emissions, lower costs and create jobs.

Once low or zero emissions technologies get close to cost parity with existing alternatives, we know that households and businesses will rapidly adopt them.

Through the Roadmap, we’re prioritising technologies that have the highest emissions abatement and economic potential in areas of comparative advantage for Australia.

Our five priority technologies are:

  • Energy storage
  • Low carbon materials including steel and aluminum 
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Soil carbon
  • And, of course, clean hydrogen.

We are setting ambitious yet realistic stretch goals for these technologies. 

For hydrogen, our goal is to produce it under $2 per kilogram - ‘H2 under $2’. 

That’s the point at which hydrogen becomes competitive as an energy source for industry, power and heat generation.

Last month, we took our commitment to becoming a hydrogen superpower to the next level, with a $1.9 billion investment package for future technologies to lower emissions. 

We have already committed over $570 million towards backing our hydrogen industry specifically. 

This includes a $74.5 million Future Fuels Package, to ensure consumers can take advantage of new transport technologies, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

To back our technology neutral approach to producing hydrogen, we will invest $50 million in the Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund. 

We will also focus on developing Australia’s first major hydrogen export hub through a $70 million competitive program. 

Under our National Hydrogen Strategy, hubs will be key to scaling up industry and driving down cost. 

This hub will not only create jobs in a regional community, but will allow us to build up international supply chains. 

Australia sets out to be a world leader in the hydrogen industry, like we have been in LNG. With our abundant natural resources, we want to be the global partner of choice for hydrogen.

I look forward to working with my colleagues here on how we can continue to collaborate, like we doing with Japan through the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project. 

This project is on track to ship Australian hydrogen to Japan in early 2021 and will be the world’s first commercial scale supply of hydrogen between continents. We appreciate Japan’s support in making it happen.

So as this meeting continues, I can assure you that Australia will be a major contributor to the world’s clean hydrogen future.

Thank you.