ARENA explores potential for exporting renewables

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is seeking information to explore Australia’s potential to export renewables such as hydrogen.

ARENA is inviting researchers and industry participants to help shape the focus of ARENA’s future funding opportunities around exportable renewable hydrogen.

In the Investment Plan released in May 2017, ARENA identified the export of renewables as one of its four priorities for future funding.

ARENA chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht said this was the first step towards positioning Australia as the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy.

“There is a global interest in clean renewable energy and a number of markets have identified hydrogen and its associated materials as key supply,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Australia is expected to have a competitive advantage in the supply of renewable commodities – thanks to our abundant solar and wind resources as well as Australia’s proximity and key trading relationships with major consumer countries, such as Japan.”

ARENA has recently provided support to Wollongong-based company AquaHydrex to develop a new electrolyser to convert water to hydrogen.

The technology, originally developed from research performed at the University of Wollongong and Monash University, aims to lower the production costs of hydrogen at a commercial scale.

This type of innovation means that the export of renewable hydrogen may become profitable much earlier than expected, in turn driving an increase in demand for renewable energy here in Australia.

The Request for Information closes October 18.