Enabling infrastructure for hydrogen production

Infrastructure Australia | Infrastructure Priority List |

Enabling infrastructure for hydrogen production

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EARLY STAGE PROPOSAL
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POTENTIAL INVESTMENT OPTIONS
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INVESTMENT READY PROPOSAL
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PROJECT DELIVERY
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POST COMPLETION REVIEW

Enabling infrastructure for hydrogen production

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LOCATION
National
GEOGRAPHY
National
SECTOR
Energy
OUTCOME CATEGORY
Efficient Markets
PROPONENT
Infrastructure Australia identified proposal
OPPORTUNITY TIMEFRAME
Near term (0-5 years)
DATE ADDED
26 February 2021
Enabling infrastructure for hydrogen exports
Opportunity

Australia’s natural characteristics and experience in energy export could enable a large hydrogen industry in Australia.

Internationally, there is growing interest in the production and use of green hydrogen as an energy source, as it produces no carbon emissions.

Global demand for hydrogen is expected to increase tenfold from an estimated 70 million tonnes currently produced annually.

There is a significant opportunity in Australia to develop supply chains connected to identified Renewable Energy Zones. This will help position Australia to meet potential demand for green hydrogen in domestic and export markets.

The Infrastructure Priority List separately includes a proposal for the expansion of these Renewable Energy Zones and their connection to the National Electricity Market. 

The Australian Government and state and territory governments are planning for the development of a national hydrogen industry via the former COAG Energy Council, which published Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy in 2019.

In addition, most states and territories have developed their own plans aligned with the national strategy.

    Challenges to growing a hydrogen industry include:

    • identifying and addressing infrastructure gaps in potential hydrogen supply chains
    • developing hydrogen’s cost effectiveness compared to other energy sources (this depends on the outcomes of current and future research and development)
    • the availability of cheap electricity and appropriate water sources to manufacture hydrogen.
    Early-stage Proposal

    A National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment is being coordinated by the Australian Government. It will examine how the supply chain will evolve over time (i.e. how the transition from road transport to rail and fixed pipelines) and how infrastructure needs will differ by location. The assessment is expected to be delivered in 2022.

    The 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan outlines that national leadership is needed to ensure Australia remains a supplier of choice for energy commodities by starting to pivot fuel exports to a wider range of energy sources, particularly those with low emissions profiles, such as green hydrogen.

    Potential options to address the proposal include upgrades or new infrastructure for electricity and

    gas networks, water supply networks, refuelling stations, roads, rail and ports.

    Next Steps

    The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources invests in areas of competitive strength or emerging priority technology capabilities (such as hydrogen), and supports the provision of reliable, secure and affordable energy.

    In September 2021, the Department identified seven prospective hydrogen hub locations across Australia, including: Bell Bay (TAS), Darwin (NT), Eyre Peninsula (SA), Gladstone (QLD), Latrobe Valley (VIC), Hunter Valley (NSW), and Pilbara (WA).

    We encourage the Australian Government to work with state and territory governments, port owners and energy providers to identify and coordinate enabling interventions (policy and infrastructure) that respond to this opportunity, including the most suitable locations for investment. Infrastructure Australia will assess submission that propose infrastructure options for each site, rather than whether these locations are in the right place. 

     

    Refer to Infrastructure Glossary for terms and definitions.