Labor sets aside $1 billion to create hydrogen industry

A Shorten government would provide $1 billion in funding to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation should it be elected in the 2019 election to kick start large-scale hydrogen energy exports.

A day after promising to reform Australian industry participation in major projects, opposition leader Shorten promised to double the CEFC’s capital to $10 billion.

One billion would fund Labor’s National Hydrogen Plan which would help creat a hudrogen production and export industry to help Asian nations transition away from LNG.

Shorten said today: “Due to Australia’s low cost renewable energy and proximity to Asian markets, we are projected
to have a significant cost advantage compared to other hydrogen producing nations such as Qatar and Norway.

“This means that as well as playing a key part in Australia’s own transition to clean energy, hydrogen also
represents a huge export opportunity, with the global market for hydrogen expected to be worth $215 billion by
2022 according to the International Energy Agency.”

Massive projects to produce hydrogen using solar and wind power in north west Western Australia and in Queensland are being developed by private developers, with the funding set to get major projects off the ground. The CEFC played this role in the roll out of numerous projects that generate clean electricity from renewables.

The move establishes a policy gulf with the current government which is ambivalent to renewables and, in some sections, still wedded to coal.

Energy is now set to be a battleground in the upcoming election.

The Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, which is developing Australia’s largest hydrogen production electrolyser, Hydrogen Park SA, in partnership with the South Australian government, welcomed today’s announcement.

AGIG’s CEO, Ben Wilson said: “Hydrogen is a zero carbon fuel that has the potential to create a major new export industry for Australia, delivering jobs and growth as Australian solar and wind resources are stored in the form of hydrogen and exported to energy hungry North East Asia.”

Hydrogen Park SA open late this year and blend renewable hydrogen into the local gas distribution network in Adelaide.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said Australia is well placed to take advantage of the growing global demand for clean hydrogen.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to build on the work done by CSIRO and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) recently, on creating hydrogen using renewable energy and converting it to a form where it can be exported.

“Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea have committed to making hydrogen a huge part of their energy future, giving us a fantastic opportunity to produce and export it to the Asia-Pacific region.”

Also today the NSW Government announced five year plans for both electric and hybrid vehicles, and connected and automated vehicles.

Three million will be co-invested with councils and commercial partners in fast charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles on major highways, and $2 million in points at commuter car parks.

Picture: LNG export carrier

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