November 25 (Renewables Now) - The Australian government has pledged to provide AUD 370 million (USD 251.4m/EUR 228m) in funding for new hydrogen projects, gearing to become a world leader in hydrogen production and exports.
The financing commitment was made on Friday after the adoption of a National Hydrogen Strategy earlier last week. Prepared by chief scientist Alan Finkel, the specific strategy aims to support the development of a “clean, innovative, competitive, technology-neutral and safe hydrogen industry” and make it a “major player” by 2030.
The new funding package will come from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), adding to the AUD 13.4 million that was already provided by the government to implement and coordinate the strategy. Some AUD 300 million of concessional finance will be extended through CEFC’s Advancing Hydrogen Fund, while ARENA will grant AUD 70 million to back the development of electrolyser projects.
“Significant levels of new investment will be needed to successfully commercialise and scale a global hydrogen industry. We believe Australia is well placed to help contribute to the growth of this emerging industry,” said Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Angus Taylor, meanwhile, the country’s Energy Minister, added that hydrogen can play a role in Australia’s future energy mix and help lower energy prices in line with cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.680/EUR 0.616)