Australia’s Northern Territory government stateovernment has released a Renewable Hydrogen Master Plan to guide development of a renewable hydrogen industry in the region.
The plan focuses on renewable, or green hydrogen, which results in zero greenhouse gas emissions, and builds on the Government’s 2019 Renewable Hydrogen Strategy’s vision to be a “world-scale producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen”.
Northern Territory said it is well placed to position itself at the forefront of the developing renewable hydrogen industry with large areas of land, high solar irradiance, close proximity to export markets, and an established world-scale energy production and export industry.
The NT government said there are “significant economic opportunities” to be realised from a renewable hydrogen industry.
Australia’s demonstrated capacity as a liquified natural gas (LNG) exporter has been used as a broad indication of its potential role as a renewable hydrogen producer and exporter.
The Northern Territory delivers approximately 15% of Australia’s total LNG production and export.
The document stated: "If the Territory captured even 15% of Australia’s hydrogen production under a high growth scenario, it could create A$3.7bn (€2.3bn) in growth and 2535 extra jobs by 2050."
Actions in the Master Plan are focused on laying the foundations to facilitate private sector investment in renewable hydrogen and building the ecosystem to support the growth of a local and export renewable hydrogen industry.
The key ones include assessing wind resources across the Northern Territory to provide investment-grade pre-competitive data supporting delivery of cheap renewable electricity, mapping water demand and cost implications for renewable hydrogen and identifying strategic locations and undertaking planning for renewable hydrogen zones that will support regional and remote industry and growth sector.
Others related to policy and include implementing regulatory reforms to facilitate pilot projects and reviewing changes required to facilitate an export scale renewable hydrogen market, including domestic uses and large-scale hydrogen export.
In 2019, the Northern Territory government established the Office of Sustainable Energy to coordinate energy reform and progress the 50% renewable energy target.
In 2020, the Renewable Hydrogen Strategy delivered the Northern Territory’s commitment to renewable hydrogen to reduce emissions and drive economic growth.
The Renewable Hydrogen Master Plan is about building the foundation to use the state’s solar resources, know-how and commitment to produce and export renewable hydrogen, the document stated.