The CSIRO will launch a new $68 million ‘Hydrogen Industry Mission’ to accelerate the development of Australia’s fledgling green hydrogen industry and support new collaborations between government, research and industry partners.
Through the five-year ‘mission’, announced on Wednesday, more than 100 projects will share in the funding, which is dedicated to hydrogen projects fostered through partnerships with universities, industry organisations and manufacturers, including Fortescue Metals, Hyundai and Toyota.
CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said the collaboration would be a major step towards supporting industries to take advantage of Australia’s strong potential as a producer of green hydrogen.
“Australia can become a renewable energy leader through the production, use and export of hydrogen, but it will only become a reality if we breakthrough the $2/kg barrier,” Marshall said.
“That needs Australia’s world class science working with CSIRO’s commercialisation expertise turning breakthrough science into real-world solutions.” He said green hydrogen could create 8,000 jobs and $11 billion a year in GDP.
The CSIRO’s hydrogen ‘mission’ will focus on four core areas, including a new hydrogen knowledge centre, support for feasibility studies, support for demonstration projects and investing in the ongoing development of hydrogen technologies.
The CSIRO’s Dr Patrick Hartley will lead the new Hydrogen Industry Mission.
The announcement of the new CSIRO initiative came at the same time as the National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) announced funding for two new hydrogen industry clusters in Queensland.
NERA will provide funding to support the establishment of the Central Queensland Hydrogen Ecosystem Cluster (CQH2) is based in Gladstone and the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprises Industry Cluster.
Each cluster will receive $50,000 each in funding from NERA, which is in addition to a funding commitment of $100,000 to each cluster from the Queensland government and will see industry collaborate in the creation of new supply chains, skills development and community engagement around the production and use of green hydrogen.
“Backing clusters in Gladstone and Toowoomba will drive the development of Queensland’s hydrogen supply chain in a way that delivers jobs for regional Queenslanders in areas like components and materials manufacturing for this new technology,” Queensland minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said.
“With our Hydrogen Industry Strategy and the support of NERA, the conversation has very much shifted from “if” to “when” commercially viable domestic and export-scale renewable hydrogen becomes a reality here in Queensland.”
NERA had previously announced seed funding for 13 hydrogen clusters across Australia, which aim to foster relationships and collaboration between companies, governments and research institutions working on different aspects of the green hydrogen supply chain and its potential uses.