The leading hydrogen organisation in Australia has requested the federal government to establish a $10 billion Net Zero Fund to help applications wanting to decarbonize using hydrogen.
The Australian Hydrogen Council’s first white paper, Unlocking Australia’s Hydrogen Opportunity, lays out a roadmap for attaining net zero emissions with the help of the developing hydrogen sector.
“The billions of dollars of future GDP envisioned in the National Hydrogen Strategy will only be realized with a large down-payment,” said Dr Fiona Simon, CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council.
“The Australian government has no option, and will have no choice in the future. It is not an option to do nothing.
“We propose that the Australian government establish a Net Zero Fund with a $10 billion initial commitment.
“The Net Zero Fund will assist in closing the economic gap for applications that are difficult to eliminate without hydrogen, including as steel, ammonia manufacturing, and heavy transportation. The sector will be scaled up and prices will be reduced by attracting huge sources of demand.”
The fund would be managed by a Net Zero Authority, which would be formed specifically for this purpose and would have the authority to cover a wide range of stakeholders, from research to commercialization, and from grants to financing.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation might be absorbed into the Authority’s operations (CEFC).
Dr. Simon pointed out that planning for net zero – and the role of hydrogen in getting there – was equally critical.
She explained that there are several paths to achieving scale in hydrogen, each with its own set of costs and dependencies, engineering realities, and societal acceptance.
“In addition to finance, governments must plan, coordinate, and create the proper policy settings for the hydrogen sector to grow,” Dr. Simon added.
“An acceleration of government policy may get the country to net zero sooner, as well as marshal and harness the enormous resources already spent by governments and industry.
“In order for governments, the business sector, and the general public to make educated decisions regarding Australia’s hydrogen industry, we need comprehensive, publicly available planning information.
“With the global race to zero emissions well started, the Australian Government must lead a coordinated national strategy to developing a clean hydrogen industry.”