What is Hydrogen?
Hydrogen is the lightest, smallest and most abundant element in our universe.
Hydrogen is an excellent carrier of energy and can be used for a broad range of energy applications, including as a transport fuel, a substitute for natural gas and for electricity generation. It can also be used in a range of industrial applications including in chemical production and metals processing.
Hydrogen gas can be produced from water, and when powered by renewable energy hydrogen is free from carbon emissions, making it a highly attractive to countries seeking to decarbonise their economies.
Hydrogen presents a significant economic opportunity as countries such as Japan and South Korea look towards renewably produced hydrogen as a way in which to reduce their emissions.
Modelling for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has forecast Australian hydrogen exports could contribute $1.7 billion and 2 800 jobs to the Australian economy by 2030. In recognition of the emerging opportunity hydrogen presents for Australia, a National Hydrogen Strategy, led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, is currently being developed under the auspices of the COAG Energy Council.
For Tasmania, the emerging hydrogen industry is an opportunity to create jobs and generate investment, particularly in our regional areas. The Office of the Coordinator General is actively working with proponents interested in hydrogen industry development in Tasmania, for export and/or for domestic use. Interested proponents can find out more from the Office of the Coordinator General .
The potential of renewable hydrogen as a clean and flexible energy carrier has been recognised for many years, but economic and technological challenges associated with creating a renewable hydrogen industry are only now starting to be overcome.
With declining costs of renewable energy and hydrogen technology, and emerging export markets, the factors required to develop a global renewable hydrogen sector are now starting to be realised.
Tasmania is in a unique position to take advantage of the global momentum and emerging economic opportunity behind hydrogen.
Access to low cost and reliable renewable energy makes Tasmania an ideal location for renewable hydrogen production, and with our existing renewable energy, this can commence now.
Hydro Tasmania estimates the cost of producing renewable hydrogen in Tasmania could be 10 to 15 per cent lower than from other Australian power grids, and up to 30 per cent lower than from dedicated off-grid variable renewables.
Tasmania also has high quality industrial precincts with access to deep-water ports, strong transmission infrastructure, significant water availability and road and rail infrastructure, to support renewable hydrogen production.
Draft Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan
The Tasmanian Government has released a draft Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan which outlines the Government’s vision and a suite of actions to develop a renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Government is investigating measures to support the development of a renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania. These measures will be finalised for the release of the Tasmanian Hydrogen Action Plan in early 2020. The Government’s vision is for Tasmania to become a leader in large-scale renewable hydrogen production and a significant global supplier of renewable hydrogen by 2030.
The draft Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan is open for consultation until Friday, 10 January 2020. The final strategy is expected to be released in early 2020.
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