Australia is collaborating with Germany to accelerate the future of hydrogen exports through the new HyGATE initiative that will strengthen bilateral cooperation on the development of hydrogen technology.
Through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the federal government will support real-world pilot, trial, demonstration and research projects along the hydrogen supply chain via the joint Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator, known as HyGATE.
ARENA and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aim to open the funding initiative in the first quarter of 2022.
Australia has committed $50 million to the HyGATE initiative and Germany has committed €50 million to invest in new hydrogen projects.
The HyGATE project follows the signing of the Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord in June to collaborate on hydrogen technology.
“The Morrison government’s ambition is to produce affordable clean hydrogen for use both in Australia and to export to our trading partners, including Germany which has high demand for energy,” Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said.
“The recent release of the first report from HySupply, our joint Australian-German hydrogen supply chain study, found there is great potential for Australian hydrogen to supply growing demand in Germany.
“Our partnership with Germany through the HyGATE project will accelerate the development of Australia’s hydrogen industry and will create new jobs and economic opportunities on the path to net zero.”
Getting the cost of hydrogen down is a priority under the government’s Technology Investment Roadmap, according to assistant minister to the minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Tim Wilson.
“Collaboration with our international partners is vital to achieving the technology breakthroughs required to lower the price of hydrogen and drive its widespread adoption,” Wilson said.
“Being able to draw on Germany’s expertise in hydrogen technology will help our domestic industry add value and reduce costs in all stages of the hydrogen supply chain.”
Australia’s special adviser on Low Emissions Technology, Dr Alan Finkel, helped broker the hydrogen partnership with Germany. Australia’s funding is provided under the $565.8 million committed in the 2021-2022 Budget initiative to establish low emissions technology partnerships.
The federal government released a National Hydrogen Strategy in 2019, which sets out a vision for Australia to become a major global hydrogen supplier by 2030.
The government is investing more than $1.2 billion to accelerate the development of an Australian hydrogen industry, including $464 million to develop up to seven clean hydrogen industrial hubs in regional Australia.
Clean hydrogen could directly support 16,000 jobs by 2050, plus an additional 13,000 jobs from the construction of related renewable energy infrastructure. Australian hydrogen production for export and domestic use could also generate more than $50 billion in additional GDP by 2050.