September 6 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said today it has awarded a AUD-22.1-million (USD 15.8m/EUR 13.6m) grant to fund research projects for exporting renewable hydrogen.
The financing was allocated to 16 projects developed by nine Australian universities and research organisations. Those are the Australian National University, Macquarie University, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, RMIT University, The University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, The University of Western Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The proposed projects are at an early research stage and focus on the development of hydrogen-related technologies such as concentrating solar thermal, electrolysis, biotechnology, carrier synthesis and fuel cell development.
According to ARENA, the hydrogen will play a bigger role in the global energy market as the world moves to a low carbon economy. For Australia, in particular, it is considered as a potential option to export renewable energy to other countries, mainly in Asia where demand is expected to grow.
“Exporting renewable energy, such as by the use of hydrogen, involves developing and integrating emerging technologies. This funding will help bolster the research efforts of Australian scientists to drive innovation for what could become the next big export industry,” said Daren Miller, ARENA’s CEO.
ACIL Allen Consulting estimated in a recent report prepared for ARENA that exports of hydrogen could reach AUD 1.7 billion per year and support 2,800 Aussie jobs by 2030 in view of the global rise in demand.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.717/EUR 0.617)