CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, launched a new $68-million Hydrogen Industry Mission. The research mission is intended to help drive down the cost of hydrogen production to below $2 per kilogram, making the fuel more affordable and helping to position Australia to lead the world in exporting hydrogen by 2030.
Over the next five years, more than 100 projects worth $68 million have been planned by partners including: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER); Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA); Fortescue Metals Group; Swinburne University; the Victorian Government; the Future Fuels CRC; National Energy Resources Australia (NERA); and the Australian Hydrogen Council, along with collaborators Toyota and Hyundai.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the mission-based partnership was the key to creating a new industry for the future energy needs of Australia and the world.
Australia can become a renewable energy leader through the production, use and export of hydrogen, but it will only become a reality if we breakthrough the $2/kg barrier. That needs Australia’s world class science working with CSIRO’s commercialization 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.—Dr Marshall
The Mission will focus on delivering four key programs of work, some of which have already begun:
Hydrogen Knowledge Center: to capture and promote hydrogen projects and industry developments across Australia. The first module, HyResource, was launched in September with NERA, the Future Fuels CRC and The Australian Hydrogen Council.
Feasibility and strategy studies to deliver trusted advice to government, industry and the community. This builds on recent hydrogen cost modeling and barrier analysis provided as part of developing the National Hydrogen Strategy.
Demonstration projects that validate hydrogen value chains and de-risk enabling technologies. Development is underway at a new facility in Clayton, Victoria, with Swinburne University and the Victorian Government.
Enabling science and technology through investment in breakthrough science, including a $20-million partnership with Fortescue which focuses on the development and commercialization of new hydrogen technologies.
Missions, by their nature, have ambitious and far-reaching goals that are much larger than any one organization. CSIRO is forming broad coalitions of multidisciplinary partners behind each one, which in addition to hydrogen, tackle formidable problems such as antimicrobial resistance; transforming plastic waste; reducing the impact of drought; and helping business to navigate climate change uncertainty.