A successful Australian hydrogen energy market strategy should couple economic goals with climate goals. Hydrogen production presents an opportunity to diversify the export economy and reach new markets as demand for Australia’s traditional fossil fuel commodity exports declines.
Australia’s ambition to become a renewable energy superpower, decarbonise the economy and increase clean energy exports to contribute to global decarbonisation would benefit from the establishment of an efficient Australian-made hydrogen industry as a part of the solution. It is important to be objective and understand that not all options that are accompanied by early enthusiasm turn out to be winners (Gartner 2018), and to conduct independent and holistic assessments, bringing along all disciplines to achieve this energy sector ambition. ATSE recommends the following to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water in its review of the National Hydrogen Strategy (”the Strategy”):
Recommendation 1: Conduct assessments to guide investment decisions on whether to invest in either: the development of hydrogen transport infrastructure and storage; on-site production co-located with hydrogen end-use; or a mix of both.
Recommendation 2: Invest and create incentives to help scale existing, successful hydrogen projects to realise the benefits of scale from hydrogen hubs.
Recommendation 3: Facilitate international cooperation across the value chain, to enable demand creation and secure Australian supply for hydrogen produced.
Recommendation 4: Develop regulations and standards to support the generation, transport, handling and utilisation of hydrogen and the management of associated waste streams that are safe for both communities and the atmospheric environment.
Recommendation 5: Establish a national skills taxonomy regarding workforce needs required by the hydrogen sector to facilitate consistent communication and appropriate training and recruitment.
Recommendation 6: Strengthen international cooperation to develop hydrogen technologies, and secure export markets for Australian hydrogen.