Australian government to make $300 million available for hydrogen fund

The Australian government has announced it will make up to A$300 million available for a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund and will change the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) in the process.

In a joint statement yesterday, energy minister Angus Taylor and finance minister Mathias Cormann said the CEFC would provide concessional finance for projects to support a national hydrogen industry.

The CEFC would consider new investments in advancing hydrogen production, developing export and domestic supply chains, establishing hydrogen hubs and backing projects that build domestic demand for hydrogen.

Hydrogen has been backed by experts as the next big opportunity for Australia’s energy industry and export market, with the potential to replicate the rise of the national LNG sector over the last 40 years.

Australia’s energy ministers signed off on a national hydrogen strategy in November at the Coag energy council meeting. The ACT attempted to amend the strategy to support only hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, but it was not supported by other jurisdictions.

Taylor described the government’s commitment to building a hydrogen industry which will create regional jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth between now and 2050.

“Importantly, if we can get hydrogen produced at under $2 a kilogram, it will be able to play a role in our domestic energy mix to bring down energy prices and keep the lights on,” he said.