Applications open for $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program

Hydrogen concept image with wind turbines and solar panels behind hydrogen pipe and big battery with H2 on it (headstart)
Image: Shutterstock

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has opened applications for the $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program.

Announced in the 2023-24 budget, the program aims to catalyse Australia’s hydrogen industry to take advantage of Australia’s unparalleled opportunity to be a global hydrogen leader.

Projects seeking to produce renewable hydrogen or derivatives at scale can apply for a production credit delivered over ten years to bridge the gap between the cost of producing renewable hydrogen and the market price.

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ARENA and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) have designed the program following consultation with a broad range of key stakeholders, which involved 114 written submissions and three public forums with over 400 participants.

Renewable hydrogen is a promising zero emissions energy vector and feedstock with the potential to transform Australia’s energy system, including in hard to abate sectors, but the emerging industry requires government support as it scales up.

ARENA’s support for renewable hydrogen spans early-stage research deployment projects through to first-of-a-kind deployments including hydrogen refuelling and hydrogen trucks, hydrogen for producing renewable ammonia, hydrogen for use in alumina refining and remote power.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said Hydrogen Headstart represents a step change in Australia’s renewable hydrogen efforts.

“ARENA has been there at every step of Australia’s hydrogen journey, and we’re thrilled to be delivering this transformative program,” Miller said.

“With Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources, we’re well placed to be a global leader in the renewable hydrogen industry.

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“As other countries step up their ambitions, Australia is meeting the challenge and providing the investment we need to stay competitive in the global hydrogen race.

“This is the Australian Government’s largest investment in renewable hydrogen to date and a critical step in unlocking Australia’s renewable energy superpower.”

Expressions of Interest are open now until 10 November 2023. Click here for information on Hydrogen Headstart, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.

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