More than A$3 billion in renewable hydrogen projects are contesting to be funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to build the country’s first commercial hydrogen projects.
ARENA opened the A$70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding round in April to help track renewable hydrogen development in Australia faster.
With the initial application stage closing, ARENA reported it had received 36 expressions of interest (EOI) in the funding round.
Through the funding round, ARENA aims to support two or more large-scale renewable hydrogen projects with an electrolyser capacity of at least 5 MW and a 10 MW or larger preference.
These projects are expected to rank among some of the world’s largest electrolysers.
Every project would require renewable electricity, either directly or through a contracting approach.
Projects selected in the funding round can also be considered for further financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) under the CEFC’s A$300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund.
The funding round will also help stimulate employment and economic growth through the round’s application stage as well as through the construction and ongoing operation.
“We’re excited to see that there is such strong interest in renewable hydrogen from across a broad cross section of industry. This is an important step for the sector and it looks like we have many companies now ready to start building large scale renewable hydrogen projects across a range of industries and end uses. The fact that we’ve received expressions of interest for projects totaling over A$3 billion in cost and almost 500 MW in size shows that we’re beginning to see companies embrace making hydrogen through renewable means.
“While we’re only at the early stages of renewable hydrogen production in Australia, much like our role in making large scale solar competitive, ARENA aims to help bring down the cost of hydrogen, build Australia’s skills and capacity, create jobs and activity in regional areas and help Australia achieve our emissions reduction objectives.”Darren Miller, CEO ARENA.
ARENA has already committed more than A$55 million in renewable hydrogen funding, including A$22.1 million for R&D projects, as well as feasibility studies for large-scale projects and small-scale demonstrations focusing on renewable ammonia, gas power and hydrogen mobility.
“Preliminary feasibility outcomes indicate there is a significant commercial gap and it is expected that grant and concessional funding will be required for hydrogen production facilities in the short to medium term.”Darren Miller, CEO ARENA.