$2 billion Hydrogen Headstart programme opens for business

The largest ever Commonwealth funding programme for renewable hydrogen, the $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart scheme, is now open for applications.

The federal government’s Hydrogen Headstart program will help tap into the enormous global pipeline of private investment in hydrogen, hoping to attract investment from other locations.

The United States’ $740 billion Inflation reduction Act and similar schemes in the EU are also aiming to increase national self reliance and attract new industries, including green hydrogen, making Australia’s task an uphill one.

The Headstart programme aims to help large-scale renewable hydrogen projects get going by bridging the commercial gap between the cost of producing renewable hydrogen and the market price.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said Hydrogen Headstart would be a game changer in the development of Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry.

Bowen said: “Large-scale production of renewable hydrogen is critical to Australia reaching our potential as a renewable energy superpower, adding $50 billion to our GDP and creating over 16,000 jobs by 2050.

“Australia already has the largest pipeline of renewable hydrogen projects in the world. Our regions have the resources, technical skills and key trade partnerships to drive growth in hydrogen and other clean industries, as well as the jobs that come with it.

“Hydrogen Headstart is about realising the potential of that pipeline and making sure Australia is in the race.”

Australia has a massive potential competitive advantage in the manufacturing and export of green hydrogen, with our abundant renewable energy resources like solar and wind, according to a statement.

Green hydrogen is also a critical enabler for future manufacturing of green metals and other products the world needs as the transformation to net zero by 2050 gathers pace.

Hydrogen Headstart was co-designed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. It builds on over half a billion dollars of investment by the Albanese Government in regional hydrogen hubs including in Pilbara, Kwinana, Gladstone, Townsville, the Hunter, Bell Bay and Upper Spencer Gulf.

Hydrogen Headstart will be administered by ARENA, with expressions of Interest open until 10 November 2023.

Further reading:
Hydrogen headstart consultations underway
No, we are not going to see a historic revival of manufacturing under Albanese
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of regional hydrogen hubs here.

Image: ARENA

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