Techno-economic analysis of commercial hydrogen production in Australia

June 20th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Whole supply chain, Technology integration process improvement, Electrolysis

Lead Organisation:

University of NSW


Start date:
February 2020

Completion date:
June 2023

Key contacts:
Dr Nawshad Haque:

CSIRO Hydrogen Energy Systems Future Science Platform

Project total cost:

Project summary description:
Hydrogen is emerging as a key energy vector in the global pursuit towards a decarbonised energy supply. Australia is expected to play a pivotal role given its vast energy resources like fossil natural gas, coal and also renewable solar and wind energy that can be used to generate hydrogen.

These opportunities have been recognized by the Australian Government. A national hydrogen strategy has been developed. The Australian Government’s Low Emission Statement has given a target cost of generating hydrogen at AUD$2 per kg for it to be competitive with conventional fossil fuels. This would require implementation of low cost, scalable and low carbon pathways to generate and utilise hydrogen.

Through this collaborative PhD project with the University of New South Wales, the partners are developing techno-economic frameworks to evaluate the viability of hydrogen supply chains in Australia. This includes identifying cost competitive and scalable ways of generating hydrogen, along with finding key opportunities for utilising hydrogen to decarbonise Australia’s energy supply and industry.

In addition, the project aims to deliver an environmental outlook of implementing these technologies, providing a deeper understanding on the cost reduction potential while reducing the environmental footprint. Though there have been some high-level studies evaluating hydrogen generation in Australia, a robust and comprehensive framework for assessing the economic and environmental footprint of hydrogen generation/utilisation in Australia is a priority to support industry development.

The development of this framework would assist stakeholders in making more informed decisions on investment opportunities for developing an Australian hydrogen supply chain.

CSIRO in partnerships with researchers at the University of New South Wales are developing adaptable cost assessment frameworks to evaluate hydrogen production opportunities using commercial technologies like steam methane reforming, coal gasification and electrolysis. These frameworks will be optimised and used to evaluate opportunities to implement these technologies in different jurisdictions across Australia. These opportunities include both blue hydrogen generation using fossil fuels with subsequent carbon capture for storage and utilisation for an environmentally friendly alternative to utilise Australia’s coal and natural gas reserves.

It is also exploring green hydrogen generation using electrolysis to leverage Australia’s vast solar and wind potential. To develop these tools, we are collaborating with various stakeholders, including technology providers and Australian energy producers.

The outcome of the project would be to provide a comprehensive outlook of developing a scalable hydrogen supply chain in Australia; the developed framework can then be used to evaluate business opportunities for utilising low-carbon hydrogen to decarbonise the energy sector.

Related publications and key links:
MHA Khan, R Daiyan, P Neal, N Haque, I MacGill, R Amal (2021) A framework for assessing economics of blue hydrogen production from steam methane reforming using carbon capture storage & utilisation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy DOI:

MHA Khan, R Daiyan, Z Han, M Hablutzel, N Haque, R Amal, I MacGill (2021) Designing Optimal Integrated Electricity Supply Configurations for Renewable Hydrogen Generation in Australia. iScience, 102539, DOI:

Higher degree studies supported:
One PhD student is supported by this project.


June 2022