Thursday, 14 May 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Senator Birmingham. Can the minister update the Senate on how the Morrison government is investing in hydrogen as part of Australia's energy future?
I thank Senator McDonald for her question. I know that she prides Australia's reputation as a longstanding reliable supplier of energy, not just for our country but to the world and, like all on this side, is committed to ensuring that Australia continues to be that successful supplier of energy to the world. That's why the Morrison government is committed to delivering affordable and reliable electricity to the Australian people and, indeed, to the rest of the world. Hydrogen, we recognise, has the potential to be an important part of our future energy mix and a large new potential export industry for Australia. We have worked under the leadership of the Chief Scientist and in cooperation with all state and territories on the landmark National Hydrogen Strategy. The strategy will see governments and industries realise Australia's potential, building on our ability and our comparative advantage in the potential production of hydrogen.
Our government has backed hydrogen production to the tune of over half a billion dollars. This includes over $150 million committed to research, pilots, trials and demonstrations, $70 million in funding for electrolysis related projects and now adding some $300 million for the new Advancing Hydrogen Fund. This new fund will finance projects focused on growing a clean, innovative and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia. It is the government's first financing fund dedicated specifically to hydrogen projects. The fund will back projects that align with priorities under the National Hydrogen Strategy in areas such as advancing hydrogen production, developing export and domestic supply chains, establishing hydrogen hubs and backing projects that build domestic demand for hydrogen. The government has also set, critically, an economic goal for hydrogen to be produced at or less than $2 per kilogram. At this price, hydrogen starts to compete with alternatives in large-scale energy deployment across our energy system and becomes a commercial opportunity in its own right, which is absolutely— (Time expired)
Our country prides itself on being a long-term reliable and affordable supplier of energy, not just in Australia but, critically, across the region and the world. The hydrogen industry, like those that have come before it such as LNG, has the ability to make a tremendous positive impact both here at home and overseas from cheaper energy bills and job creation in regional Australia to playing a role in reducing global emissions, both at home and in countries that would buy Australian-produced hydrogen. As part of the National Hydrogen Strategy we're aiming to build Australia's hydrogen industry into a global export industry by 2030. Australia is uniquely placed to develop a thriving clean hydrogen market over the coming decades, similar to the scale of the LNG industry. Hydrogen technology has the capacity to meet the needs of Japan and the Republic of Korea, which have made ambitious hydrogen commitments and signalled they will be important importers of hydrogen from 2030. (Time expired)
The Australian Hydrogen Strategy indicates that the industry could generate more than 8,000 jobs, many in regional Australia, and generate over $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050. That's why we're working with industry, researchers and international partners who are willing to invest and work towards the delivery of the roadmap. We're also supporting innovative projects across the nation, including in Queensland, I'm pleased to say, Senator McDonald. Just last week, we announced $1.1 million in funding to build a modular demonstration plant.
As I was saying, I'm pleased, for Senator McDonald and Queensland senators, to highlight that just last week we announced $1.1 million to build a modular demonstration plant at Wallumbilla. The plant will produce around 620 kilograms of hydrogen per year, which will be converted into 74 gigajoules of renewable methane. We've also invested $1.25 million in a feasibility study for a renewable hydrogen demonstration project at Stanwell Power Station in Rockhampton. This type of innovative work is exactly what we need to see our domestic hydrogen industry grow.