Hydrogen Headstart consultation process officially underway

Rendered image of a hydrogen molecule (tasmania)
Image: Shutterstock

Consultation has opened on the Australian Government’s $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program, which was announced as part of the 2023 Federal Budget.

Hydrogen Headstart will deliver a step change in Australia’s renewable hydrogen production by underwriting some of the largest electrolyser deployments in the world.

The program is intended to bridge the commercial gap for early projects and put Australia on course for up to a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity by 2030.

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ARENA and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) have published a consultation paper outlining indicative specifications for the program. The consultation paper covers proposed objectives, eligibility criteria and funding mechanism, as well as other features of the program.

The consultation paper proposes to support projects with a hydrogen production credit delivered over 10 years, bridging the gap between the cost of hydrogen produced and the sales price of hydrogen or its derivative products.

ARENA and DCCEEW will be accepting written submissions, hosting an information webinar and running in person consultation forums in Sydney and Perth.Following the consultation period, ARENA and DCCEEW will develop the final program design.

The Australian Hydrogen Council welcomed the government’s release of the consultations papers.

Australian Hydrogen Council CEO Dr Fiona Simon said, “We welcome the release of these two consultation papers. We’re at a critical juncture where we need to act quickly and strategically to ensure the Australian hydrogen industry can capitalise on the immense opportunity that we have both domestically and as an exporter.

“There has been significant change since the last National Hydrogen Strategy both globally and at home, and as an industry we are in a better position to choose priorities and go after them.

“The $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart is an important priority that will keep Australia competitive and we must get the design right. This will help shape future policies and incentives.

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“As Australia’s peak body for the emerging clean and renewable hydrogen industry, we look forward to engaging with our members and stakeholders to share a clear industry response to support the Australian Government in its objectives.”

The two consultations papers are available below:

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