Industry leaders applaud NSW hydrogen strategy

NSW energy minister Matt Kean (hydrogen strategy)
NSW energy minister Matt Kean

The NSW Government has unveiled its green hydrogen strategy, offering $3 billion in incentives to attract $80 billion in new hydrogen infrastructure as it accelerates its shift to zero emissions.

NSW energy minister Matt Kean and newly appointed premier Dominic Perrottet said the hydrogen strategy sought to drive “deep carbonisation” and position the state as a green energy superpower.

“Our major trading partners see hydrogen as part of their energy future, this state has the skills, infrastructure and renewable energy resources to compete globally in this new industry,” Perrottet said.

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In addition to offering incentives, the plan includes a 90 per cent exemption from electricity network charges for green hydrogen producers who connect to parts of the network with spare capacity.

The Australian Hydrogen Council and Central Coast-based hydrogen company Star Scientific both welcomed NSW’s hydrogen strategy. 

“Setting aside $3 billion to support the scale up of our hydrogen industry is a leap in the right direction, a clear demonstration to us that the New South Wales Government is serious about meeting its net zero commitments and the role of hydrogen to get there,” Australian Hydrogen Council CEO Dr Fiona Simon said. 

“The strategy contains precisely the type of policy commitments, targets and funding that we have called for in our recent white paper Unlocking Australia’s Hydrogen Opportunity, and we are delighted to see the NSW Government taking this next evolutionary step.

“We are glad the NSW Government has stepped up to the level at which our trading partners are competing. Plans and funding like this will mean Australia should not miss the boat on international opportunities and instead, will be well positioned to be a leading producer and user of hydrogen in Australia and globally.

“This kind of strategy will draw through huge amounts of investment needed to secure local jobs of the future, from now.”

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Star Scientific Limited global chair Andrew Horvath also praised the strategy, saying he was certain the government’s commitment would attract major investment from the private sector.

“Coming off the back of earlier announcements such as the gazettal of the Hunter and Central Coast as a Renewable Energy Zone, and programs that encourage heavy industry to use green hydrogen to decarbonise, I can say from direct experience that the eyes of the world are on the region,” he commented.

“Money aside, the clever approach of driving the demand-side uses of hydrogen for heavy industry is why the world is sitting up and taking notice.”