Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy identifies hydrogen hubs as key elements in spring boarding the hydrogen industry to scale. The Strategy notes:
“These [hydrogen hubs] may be at ports, in cities, or in regional or remote areas, and will provide the industry with its springboard to scale. Hubs will make the development of infrastructure more cost-effective, promote efficiencies from economies of scale, foster innovation, and promote synergies from sector coupling.”
Hydrogen hubs, by facilitating the rapid development of industrial scale hydrogen production and related infrastructure, support Australia’s ambition to become a large-scale exporter of hydrogen and hydrogen fuels to global markets.
The Australian Government is supporting hydrogen hubs development across Australia through several funding channels, including through a specific program that directly supports hydrogen hubs development and through other programs that have a wider remit not specifically aimed at hubs development but by their nature are inclusive of hubs development opportunities.
Hydrogen Hubs specific support – Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program
The Australian Government has planned investments of over AUD$500 million to support the rollout and development of regional hydrogen hubs across Australia, of which the vast majority of funding (through the Hubs Implementation funding stream and the Townsville Region Grant Opportunity) is supporting the rollout of seven large-scale hydrogen hubs across Australia (while smaller amounts of support are progressing a range of hubs-related development and design studies).
Hydrogen Hubs eligible support – other programs
The October 2022 2022-23 federal budget also included the following funding allocations of relevance to regional hydrogen hubs development:
- Allocation of AUD$1.5 billion in planned equity to support the construction of common user marine infrastructure within the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct at Darwin in the Northern Territory, with the aim to further develop export opportunities in Northern Australia for commodities such as green hydrogen and critical minerals.
- Allocation of AUD$565 million to invest in enabling infrastructure in the Pilbara region of Western Australia to support emerging green industries and technologies.
- Allocation of AUD$100 million to support the Port of Newcastle and the Hunter region of New South Wales to become hydrogen-ready.
The May 2023-24 federal budget including the following funding allocation of relevance to regional hydrogen hubs development:
- Allocation of AUD$2 billion for the establishment of the Hydrogen Headstart Program to provide revenue support for investment in renewable hydrogen production through competitive hydrogen production contracts.