Australian government has announced an additional A$150 million (US$110m) in funding for hydrogen hubs across seven prioritised regional sites.The seven locations include Belly Bay in Tasmania, the Pilbara in Western Australia, Gladstone in Queensland, La Trobe Valley in Victoria, Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Hunter Valley in New South Wales and Darwin in Northern Territory.
The new commitment increases the total funding available to A$464m.
There are two grant types for hydrogen hubs in different stage of development. The hub development and design grants round will advance hydrogen concepts and the hub implementation grants round 1 will finance “investment ready” hydrogen industrial hub projects.
Hydrogen expert George Varma of Pinsent Masons, the firm behind Out-Law, said: “The amount of government funding for hydrogen being pledged in Australia is increasing on an exponential basis at the moment. We have recently seen the Western Australian state government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) both announce additional funding to support the growth of the hydrogen sector in Australia.”
“This additional round of funding being made available by the Australian Commonwealth government further demonstrates Australia’s commitment to driving the growth of its domestic hydrogen market. This funding is certainly providing incentives to domestic and international participants to invest in Australia to develop hydrogen projects. The future of green energy in Australia is looking bright,” he said.
The first type of grant – the hub development and design grants – will award between A$0.5m to A$3m to eligible projects while the second – the hub implementation round 1 grant – will award between A$30m to A$70m. Both grants are tailored towards “hydrogen industry-led consortia”.
The application period for the two grants will open on 28 September 2021 and close on 22 November 2021.
In August, the Victorian government announced two new grants schemes designed to support the adoption of cleaner hydrogen fuel sources in industry. The Queensland government launched new hydrogen technology clusters in June, allocating A$100,000 to them. The Western Australian government has also recently committed A$61.5m to “supercharge Western Australia’s growing renewable hydrogen industry”.