$22 million investment to accelerate renewable hydrogen future

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The McGowan Government will bring forward the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy targets by a decade and invest $22 million to develop hydrogen supply, meet growing demand for the clean fuel and create jobs.

Part of the WA Recovery Plan, the accelerated targets and nine studies and projects will boost the state’s renewable hydrogen industry and position WA as a major producer, user and exporter of renewable hydrogen.

The McGowan Government’s investment, increased business interest and pace of technology development means the goals of the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy are being bought forward from 2040 to 2030.

The strategy aims to boost the State’s hydrogen industry across four areas: export, use in remotely located industries, blending in natural gas networks, and use in fuel cell electric transport vehicles.

The McGowan Government has committed $5.7 million to an Australia-first renewable energy microgrid in the Gascoyne town of Denham, using a new solar power system to produce hydrogen from water.

The demonstrator microgrid will test the technology and feasibility of implementing microgrids incorporating hydrogen in regional areas across the state.

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The State Government is committed to supporting the Denham project, subject to ARENA’s final consideration.   

Another $2 million has been allocated to FMG H2’s renewable hydrogen mobility project in the Pilbara, which will produce solar hydrogen for transport at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine, advancing vital decarbonisation technologies.

Fortescue plans to purchase 10 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses to replace its diesel bus fleet, and the lessons learnt from this project will support their plans to reduce reliance on imported diesel across a range of transport forms.

Another $1 million will be allocated by the McGowan Government towards ATCO’s hydrogen refueller project in Jandakot that will develop, deploy and operate the first green hydrogen refuelling station in WA.

The station will integrate with ATCO’s existing Clean Energy Innovation Hub in Jandakot, and service ATCO’s fleet of fuel cell electric cars and approved vehicles of other organisations.

The Jandakot H2-Fuel project is a key enabler to driving down the costs of refuelling infrastructure, and an opportunity to build the local skills and labour force required to support the industry.

Over time, the hydrogen refueller project could be expanded to target over 1,000 fuel cell electric vehicles in metropolitan Perth.

An additional $5 million in funding will be allocated to the State Government’s existing $10 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund for grants to support industry development.

Other initiatives in the WA Recovery Plan to boost the hydrogen industry include:

  • $3 million for a regulatory reform package to undertake and support a local hydrogen industry;
  • $2.7 million to expand the Renewable Hydrogen Unit in the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation;
  • $1 million towards identifying locations suitable for hydrogen storage;
  • $1 million towards developing a detailed supply chain model that promotes hydrogen and identifies bottlenecks and limitations affecting the hydrogen export industry; and
  • $600,000 to study blending hydrogen in the WA gas network and related technical, economic and regulatory implications.  

WA Premier Mark McGowan said, “The WA Recovery Plan is focused on creating a pipeline of local jobs to support WA’s economic recovery, while investing in growing green industries that support and improve WA’s future.

“The State Government and Renewable Hydrogen Council are keen to see Western Australia accelerate our hydrogen industry through these nine initiatives and the new 2030 target.

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“Major export markets are seeking hydrogen much sooner than expected, and we are in a prime position to join the supply chain.

“Investing in our clean energy future will not only create jobs and training opportunities for Western Australians, but will further diversify our economy.”

WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said interest in renewable hydrogen in accelerating and the WA Government is moving to position the state as a world leader in hydrogen production.

“Interest in renewable hydrogen is rapidly accelerating and our Government is moving to position WA as a world leader in hydrogen production,” she said.

“Investing in renewable hydrogen and bringing forward our targets sends a clear message to the industry that we are serious about Western Australia being powered by clean energy.

“The demonstration project in Denham is industry-leading, and has the potential to be rolled out across the State to benefit a wide range of small towns and communities.

“Boosting our renewable energy sector and giving businesses the confidence to establish themselves through these initiatives will help our State rebound stronger than ever.”

More information on the clean energy future initiatives is available at http://inthistogether.wa.gov.au

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