Queensland has demonstrated its commitment to the fast expanding hydrogen industry by establishing two further hydrogen clusters in Gladstone and Toowoomba.
The announcement follows a $100,000 commitment by the Queensland Government, in collaboration with NERA (National Energy Resources Australia), an independent, federally supported NFP organization dedicated to assisting Australia’s energy transition, to build the new clusters, which will now work alongside the already established H2Q cluster in Brisbane.
The Queensland Government’s hydrogen industry plan is focused on fostering innovation and assisting the development of skills for new technologies, while also acknowledging the critical role of clusters in implementing government policies in the fast increasing hydrogen industry.
Mick de Brenni, Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, announced that the Queensland Government will contribute $50,000 each to the Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA) and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) to advance their cluster objectives.
“Backing clusters in Gladstone and Toowoomba will drive the development of Queensland’s hydrogen supply chain in a way that delivers jobs for regional Queenslanders in areas like components and materials manufacturing for this new technology,” Mr de Brenni said.
“With our Hydrogen Industry Strategy and the support of NERA, the conversation has very much shifted from “if” to “when” commercially viable domestic and export-scale renewable hydrogen becomes a reality here in Queensland.
“If we can position Queensland as the hydrogen technology leader, innovator and exporter of this resource, we will well and truly cement out position as a renewable energy superpower.
“Queensland’s existing hydrogen cluster, H2Q, has already developed a detailed market analysis plan and is engaging with local businesses to develop new hydrogen technologies.”
The two new clusters, which will be officially introduced at the Australian Hydrogen Conference, will join the Hydrogen Technology Cluster Australia (H2TCA), a national network of 13 clusters that was launched in February.
H2TCA, led by NERA, is establishing a global identity and brand for Australian hydrogen technology and expertise. Additionally, it contributes to the growth of the hydrogen supply chain by reducing overlaps and identifying gaps in the development, deployment, and commercialization of new hydrogen-focused technology.
According to NERA CEO Miranda Taylor, the news demonstrates Queensland’s commitment to hydrogen energy.
“Today is yet another step along the road and a further indication of Australia’s capability in developing hydrogen technologies. These two new Queensland clusters will be able to work together with the existing H2Q cluster in Brisbane, as well as the other regional clusters in H2TCA, to ensure long-term local cohesion and sustainable capability across the emerging hydrogen value chain. Australia wants to be exporting more than just molecules.
“Today’s announcement is a crucial step for Queensland in building the skills, capacities and commercialisation opportunities necessary to unlock Australia’s enormous potential to create a globally competitive hydrogen industry that, according to a 2019 Deloitte report, could create thousands of jobs and increase Australia’s GDP by up to $26 billion.”
The 2019 National Hydrogen Strategy recognized the establishment of a national hydrogen technology cluster as a critical component of scaling up Australia’s domestic industry to become a global hydrogen competitor.
The news reinforces NERA’s active role as an Industry Growth Centre in coordinating collaborative initiatives to maximize Australia’s hydrogen potential across the hydrogen value chain and to position Australian businesses to offer new technology, goods, and services to local and worldwide markets.