Research Director, Oil Gas & Fuels
12:20 - 12:45
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
S1.4 Pathways to an Economically Sustainable Hydrogen Industry for Australia
Australia's National Hydrogen Roadmap was released by CSIRO, the national science agency, in August 2018. It provides a blueprint for the development of a hydrogen industry in Australia. Underpinned by Australia’s wealth of both renewable and fossil energy resources, the report highlights the opportunity for developing hydrogen energy value chains for both domestic energy supply and as a low emissions energy export. Key findings are that low emissions hydrogen value chains consist of a series of mature technologies, and that whilst there is considerable scope for further R&D, this level of maturity has meant that the narrative has shifted from one of technology development to market activation. Barriers to market activation stem from a lack of supporting infrastructure and/or the cost of hydrogen supply. However, both barriers can be overcome via a series of strategic investments along the value chain from both the private and public sector. The report shows that while government assistance is needed to kick-start the industry, it can become economically sustainable thereafter. This is demonstrated by first assessing the target price of hydrogen needed for it be competitive with other energy carriers and feedstocks. Second, the assessment considers the current state of the industry, namely the cost and maturity of the underpinning technologies and infrastructure. It then identifies the material cost drivers and consequently, the key priorities and areas for investment needed to make hydrogen competitive in each of the identified markets. The opportunity for hydrogen to compete favourably on a cost basis in local applications such as transport and remote area power systems is within reach based on potential cost reductions to 2025. Further, the development of a hydrogen export industry represents a significant opportunity for Australia and a potential ‘game changer’ for the local industry and the broader energy sector due to associated increases in scale. This presentation will provide an overview of the roadmap findings, and will include an update on both the development of Australia’s hydrogen strategy and the current state of hydrogen technology deployment in Australia.