Tas govt announces $50m for renewable hydrogen

ARC, hydrogen, hydrogen champions
Hydrogen infrastructure in the right places is key to a cleaner, cheaper energy future.

With global markets actively looking at ways to decarbonise their economies, the Tasmanian Government is investing $50 million over 10 years to build a renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania.

Premier Peter Gutwein said Tasmania’s Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan outlines real actions that will kick-start the renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania, creating hundreds of jobs and injecting billions into our economy, particularly in regional areas.

“We will invest $20 million through a Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Fund, provide up to $20 million in concessional loans and up to $10 million in support services which include competitive electricity supply arrangements and payroll tax relief, to drive industry development,” he said.

“Our vision is that Tasmania will be commercially exporting hydrogen by 2030.”

The plan identified that a 1000 megawatt renewable hydrogen facility (approximately enough power for one million households) was feasible and would create an estimated 1000 to 1200 local jobs, and support a further 2000 megawatts of renewable energy investment in the state.

Using abundant renewable energy, the premier said Tasmania can produce hydrogen with zero emissions, making it very attractive to both domestic and international markets including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China.

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Tasmanian Minister for Energy Guy Barnett said the plan shows Tasmania’s natural and established advantages means the state can produce renewable hydrogen up to 15 per cent cheaper than from the mainland power grid, and up to 30 per cent lower than from dedicated off-grid renewable resources.

“Government funding will be delivered through a competitive Expression of Interest process, due to open in the coming weeks, which will align with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA’s) $70 million hydrogen funding round,” he said.

“A major renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania plays to our strengths and competitive advantages, complements our nationally significant Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects, and our commitment to taking real action on climate change and reducing emissions.”

The plan also outlines opportunities across government to increase hydrogen uptake including rolling out hydrogen buses, fleet vehicles and ferries. It is expected that private operators, such as navigators, may also take up the option to use renewable hydrogen once it’s commercially available.

The Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan is available here.

Hydro Tasmania says it is ready to work with prospective investors to ensure their projects have a secure source of clean energy.

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CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said that hydrogen’s potential as an energy source had long been known, but that the associated technological and economic challenges are quickly reaching a tipping point. 

“Unlocking hydrogen from water is an energy intensive process and Tasmania can provide renewable energy to power the creation of ‘green’ hydrogen, a product that we know will be in high demand internationally as markets seek to decarbonise,” he said.

“With our natural and established advantages of abundant water and renewable energy generation, Tasmania has a competitive advantage in this sector that could deliver economic benefits for all Tasmanians.”

The Australia Institute said the plan is good for Tasmania and good for the planet.

Director of The Australia Institute Tasmania Leanne Minshull said, “Tasmania already has almost 100 per cent renewable energy, with more wind and solar projects ready to come on line. It’s great to see the Tasmanian Government backing our renewable energy sector by investing in this emerging industry”.