An economically-sustainable hydrogen industry in Australia could soon be on the cards according to a blueprint released by CSIRO, the national science agency, which found that cost-competitiveness is firmly on the horizon.
The National Hydrogen Roadmap sets out a path to develop the action and investment plans required to realise the full benefits of a hydrogen economy.
Hydrogen, a clean-burning fuel with a range of uses, from powering vehicles, to storing energy, can service multiple markets and if produced using low-emissions energy sources, will enable deep decarbonisation across the energy and industrial sectors. National Hydrogen Roadmap Roadmap findings include:
Hydrogen technologies are reaching maturity, with the narrative now shifting from R&D to market activation.
Hydrogen presents a new export opportunity for Australia and could also play a significant role in enabling the further uptake of renewable energy.
While the benefits are clear, current barriers to market activation include a lack of supporting infrastructure such as hydrogen refuelling stations for transport, and the cost of hydrogen supply for some applications.
An appropriate policy framework could create a market pull for hydrogen, with investment in infrastructure then likely to follow.
In or around 2025, clean hydrogen could be cost-competitive with existing industrial feedstocks such as natural gas, and energy carriers such as batteries in many applications.
Australia has a unique and urgent opportunity to turn significant natural resources, including coal, gas, and renewables like solar and wind energy, into a low-emissions energy product and ship it around the world—in some cases literally exporting Aussie sunshine.
CSIRO is at the forefront of innovation with our partners in industry, government and the research sector, like our recently developed, world-first membrane to separate hydrogen from ammonia for fuel cell vehicles. [earlier post] This National Hydrogen Roadmap provides a blueprint for growing Australia’s hydrogen industry through coordinated investment to be globally competitive.—CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall
The national science agency consulted broadly to develop the Roadmap, which was sponsored by 21 industry and government bodies.