The industry set to bring 8000 jobs, $11 billion for economy
by Matthew Killoran
16th Nov 2020 5:17 AM
Hydrogen is set to be a major employer in a post-COVID world, if it can overcome technical challenges.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor will make the claim today as he spruiks the industry has the capability to create 8000 jobs and $11 billion for the economy by 2050.
Interest in the cutting edge energy technology has been gaining steam, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk appointing a Minister for Hydrogen.
Gladstone is also being eyed off as a potential "hydrogen hub" for the nation.
Mr Taylor will on Monday say there is a ready-made market for Australia to sell the product if it can become financially viable, with Germany, South Korea having already signalled they are keen to buy up big.
"This creates a large export potential for Australia as global demand increases," he will say at the Australian Hydrogen Conference.
"We're well placed to produce clean hydrogen to meet the world's energy needs, but we must unlock our potential and seize new market opportunities."
Gas plan not at odds with lower carbon future: Taylor:
Energy Minister Angus Taylor has dismissed criticism that a renewed push for gas projects is at odds with the government’s plans for a lower carbon future.
Mr Taylor last week released a discussion paper on the government’s energy technology roadmap, which pointed to domestic gas, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and even small-scale nuclear reactors as the key to shore up the sector in the transition to renewable energy.
Speaking with Sky News, the minister said the criticism of gas projects was “just not right”.
“We’re going to meet our 2020 targets by almost a year’s worth of emissions and that was even before COVID-19 came along,” he said.
“We are already on track to meet and beat our 2030 targets. We’ve planned and budgeted down to the last tonne how that is going to be achieved and that assumes a significant role of gas.”
He said the system needed “balance” in its transition and reiterated the government’s stance emerging technologies would be bolstered by consumer choice, not taxes.
“The idea you flip your energy system overnight … is just crazy. There needs to be balance in the system,” Mr Taylor said.
“The whole point of the technology roadmap is to push those emerging technologies to the point where people chose them because it is good for them and it is good for their business.
“We didn’t replace horses with cars by taxing horses. It was technology that made that possible.”
Mr Angus will say creating a hydrogen hub, bringing the resource's users and exporters together in one place, will be needed to make the industry successful.
"This will help scale up the industry to drive down costs, and create the demand needed to fire-up the industry," he said.
"A regional hydrogen export hub will allow us to create jobs, build larger and more efficient supply chains, and provide a focal point for workforce skills."
Gladstone is considered one of the top locations in the country for a hydrogen export hub.
To make it commercially viable and competitive against higher-emitting energy sources, production costs will need to drop below $2 per kilogram, Mr Taylor will say.
"For Australia, achieving H2 under 2 will be where the rubber meets the road," he will say.
Global demand for hydrogen is about 70 million tonnes per year, but is projected to increase by 20 million tonnes within the decade.
Govt pumps $300m into hydrogen projects:
The Morrison Government has established a $300 million fund to help finance Australian hydrogen energy projects.
The Advancing Hydrogen Fund is set to focus on growing a clean, innovative and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.
The fund will back projects that align with the priorities under the National Hydrogen Strategy such as developing export and domestic supply chains, establishing hydrogen hubs and projects that build domestic demand for the energy source.