APPLICATIONS have opened for the Australian government’s A$2bn (US$1.3bn) Hydrogen Headstart programme as it aims to make the nation a global hydrogen leader.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which is delivering the initiative, said that renewable hydrogen could transform Australia’s industry, helping to decarbonise sectors including hard-to-abate areas such as chemicals, steelmaking, and transport. However, to succeed, it requires government support for scale-up.
Announced several months ago, Hydrogen Headstart will support projects for large-scale production of renewable hydrogen or derivatives. It offers a way to bridge the gap between the cost of green hydrogen production and the current market price. Successful applicants will be rewarded with a production credit that will be paid out over ten years.
ARENA and Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water (DCCEEW) designed the programme. This followed consultation with a broad range of key stakeholders, which involved 114 written submissions and three public forums with more than 400 participants.
Expressions of interest for the programme are open until 10 November.
Darren Miller, CEO of ARENA, said that Hydrogen Headstart represents a step change in Australia’s renewable hydrogen efforts. He noted that the programme is the Australian government’s largest investment in renewable hydrogen to date and a “critical step in unlocking Australia’s renewable energy superpower”.
Miller added: “With Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources, we’re well placed to be a global leader in the renewable hydrogen industry. As other countries step up their ambitions, Australia is meeting the challenge and providing the investment we need to stay competitive in the global hydrogen race.”
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