Future Energy Exports CRC

September 22nd, 2020

Future Energy Exports CRC

This CRC has a research program focussed on hydrogen export and value chains that will require ‘export class’ infrastructure systems, operations and procedures to be defined over the next decade.

Lead participants:

Participants in the CRC include significant industry associations, major company entities, State Governments and several Universities


Research and development



In progress

Estimated cost:


Research partners:


Main supply chain category:

Whole supply chain


Registered office is in Western Australia, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$40 million – Australian Federal Government Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program (Round 21 Funding Round)

Research description

In March 2020, the Federal Government announced a co-funding offer to the Future Energy Exports CRC of AUD$40 million over a ten year period commencing 1 July 2020. The combined investment from the Commonwealth and CRC participants (cash and in-kind support) totals approximately AUD$162 million over the life of the CRC.

The CRC has four research programs, of which Program 2 is focussed on Hydrogen Export and Value Chains, and Program 4 targets Market and Sector Development.

Program 2 takes cognizance that development of a hydrogen export industry in Australia will require ‘export class’ infrastructure systems, operations and procedures to be defined over the next decade. The program focusses on addressing the following research challenges:

  • Processing and delivery methods for cost-effective large-scale hydrogen export
  • Target export markets, including key applications and requirements
  • Supply chain architecture, design and operations
  • Export-class systems and technologies for hydrogen production, storage and delivery
  • Mapping future world-scale hydrogen export regions

Approved projects from Program 2, as at end July 2021, are summarised below:

Fluidised-bed combustion of ammonia (NH3) for stationary combined heat and power generation

A new fluidised-bed combustion technology allowing NH3 to be used as a fuel for power generation with low NOx emissions has been demonstrated at TRL-2. This project will investigate the scale-up of this novel approach to NH3 combustion with low NOx formation, underpinning the development and deployment of fluidised-bed combustion systems for power generation using NH3 as a carbon-free fuel.

Direct Ammonia Reduction of Iron Ore

This project seeks to research and develop the use of NH3 as a reliable renewable reductant for direct raw iron making from selected Western Australian iron ores. The project outputs will include new technologies to be developed and demonstrated at laboratory and pilot scales.

Fully DC Microgrid for Green Hydrogen Production

This project aims to fill a knowledge gap in the production of hydrogen from renewable energy (RE) sources, by focusing on the transition from AC to fully DC microgrids for green hydrogen production. The existing limitations with the current RE AC microgrids such as low efficiency, high cost and size as well as the current changes toward DC systems and the lack of industry experience with dedicated DC microgrids for green hydrogen are key motivations for developing and demonstrating the first DC microgrid for green hydrogen production.

Hydrogen 4.0 Design and Development of Cyber-Physical Systems

Renewable hydrogen plants have the potential to gain operational and safety advantages from advanced data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and digital innovative technologies to improve the efficiency of the plant. The Hydrogen 4.0 platform discussed in this project will investigate the cyber‐physical systems a lab‐scale renewable hydrogen productions systems at two sites within the FEnEx CRC.

Paths to a sustainable hydrogen supply chain

Hydrogen production, storage and transport are seen as key enabling technologies to allow the transition to a hydrogen economy. However, multiple challenges facing such supply chain development remain. Technology readiness, technology scale-up and access to low-cost renewable electricity remain significant hurdles; overcoming these will be pivotal in the development of a hydrogen industry. This project will develop a web-based tool to allow for the evaluation of hydrogen supply chains accounting for technology readiness, regional availability and cost.

A project worthy of note to be undertaken under Program 4 is The Net Zero Australia Project. This two-year project will analyse how Australia can achieve a net zero economy by 2050 and is based on the Princeton University Net-Zero America study, released in December 2020.


Updated: August 2021