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CSIRO launches a $68 million, five-year hydrogen industry mission

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CSIRO has established a five-year, $68 million Hydrogen Industry Mission to support over 100 initiatives aimed at achieving a hydrogen production cost of less than $2 per kilogram.

The Mission is funded by CSIRO with $38 million, the federal government with $12 million, and industry and research partners with $18 million. Australia, according to CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall, has the potential to be a global leader in hydrogen production, consumption, and export, but only if the $2 objective is realized.

“That needs Australia’s world class science working with CSIRO’s commercialisation expertise turning breakthrough science into real-world solutions. Taking a Team Australia approach is essential to creating the 8,000 jobs and $11 billion a year in GDP that hydrogen can contribute to Australia’s economy as we build back better from the impacts of COVID-19,” Marshall said in a statement. 

Dr Patrick Hartley leads the CSIRO’s Hydrogen Mission, which encompasses four critical areas of investigation, some of which have already begun.

These include the following:

  • The Hydrogen Knowledge Centre was established to document and promote hydrogen initiatives and industry advancements occurring around Australia. In September, NERA, the Future Fuels CRC, and the Australian Hydrogen Council launched the first module, HyResource.
  • To provide reliable counsel to government, industry, and the community, we conduct feasibility and strategy studies. This expands on recent hydrogen cost modeling and barrier research conducted as part of the National Hydrogen Strategy development process.
  • Demonstration projects aimed at validating hydrogen value chains and mitigating the risks associated with enabling technology. A new facility in Clayton, Victoria, is being developed in collaboration with Swinburne University and the Victorian Government.
  • Enabling research and technology through investment in breakthrough science, including a $20 million agreement with Fortescue to research and commercialize novel hydrogen technologies.

CSIRO announced the Missions Program in August last year, with the purpose of achieving “ambitious and far-reaching goals” in six key areas: “health and wellbeing, food security and quality, national security, environmental resilience, energy and resource sustainability, and the future of our industries.”

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources (DISER), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Fortescue Metals Group, Swinburne University, the Victorian Government, the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), and the Australian Hydrogen Council are among the partners, as are collaborators Toyota and Hyundai.

Nedim Husomanovic

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