By 2040, the Australian hydrogen industry may generate up to 72 000 new employment annually and be worth an estimated $40 billion, according to a recent analysis by National Energy Resources Australia (NERA).
According to the paper “Powering Up: Seizing Australia’s Hydrogen Potential by 2040,” the hydrogen industry may sustain 58 000 to 72 000 employment by 2040, the majority of which would be located in rural areas, and contribute close to 1% of the country’s gross value added (GVA).
About 10 times the present global production, or 9.5 million tonnes, of hydrogen could be needed in Australia by 2040, with 46% going to foreign markets. Massive infrastructure development, such as a five-fold increase in Australia’s solar and wind power output, thousands of electrolysers and compressors, and more than 5,000 hydrogen storage tanks, will be required to meet this demand. Between 2025 and 2040, an estimated A$25 billion to A$30 billion would be invested annually in infrastructure, totaling between A$340 billion and A$420 billion.
The paper, which outlines essential steps required to support Australia’s future hydrogen economy, is the first complete analysis of Australia’s hydrogen supply chain and the hydrogen equipment, technology, and services (HETS) opportunity from a national viewpoint.
In order to explore one potential architecture of the hydrogen supply chain in 2040, the study leverages on modeling created by advising firm Arup for the National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment, which has not yet been published.
The CEO of NERA, Miranda Taylor, stated that major investment was necessary, particularly in remote areas, to support local capabilities, job creation, and decarbonization activities in order to realize the full potential hydrogen presented for Australia.
“The national network of 17 hydrogen clusters is pivotal in connecting emerging regional hydrogen industries in Australia, and promoting early HETS sector development, coordinated supply chains, and accessible entry points into hydrogen for local businesses. And, with 90% of hydrogen industry jobs projected to be in regional areas, it is essential to develop local capabilities and supply chains to support this growth.” said Taylor.