Hydrogen Research Development and Innovation; Global priorities in support of clean hydrogen industry development

October 25th, 2021

This report examines the RD&I priorities required to establish clean hydrogen as a key technology for the energy transition

On 21 October 2021, Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, published a short report entitled ‘Hydrogen Research Development and Innovation; Global priorities in support of clean hydrogen industry development’.

The report was prepared as contributing material for the Mission Innovation Clean Hydrogen Mission input to COP26 being held in Glasgow between 31 October-12 November 2021.

A webinar discussing key findings from the study was presented at COP26, hearing reflections from a panel of leading national and international hydrogen industry experts including Peter Grubnic, lead author of the report, Dr Patrick Hartley of the CSIRO Hydrogen Industry Mission, Dr Sunita Satyapal, Director of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy, and Professor Ken Baldwin, Australian National University.

You can view the webinar below.

Report Summary

The report presents an overview of clean hydrogen deployment themes as identified in national hydrogen strategies and roadmaps, and aligns actual and planned research, development and innovation (RD&I) efforts of  key economies with these deployment themes.

As a high-level review, it is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation but rather to provide insights into some of the key RD&I actions required to progress global clean hydrogen deployment over the course of this decade.

In undertaking the review, RD&I actions that support market activation as well as progressing less mature, newer approaches for utilising clean hydrogen across diverse industry value chains have been identified; i.e. the report covers technologies across the spectrum of technology readiness levels.

‘Summary RD&I Highlights’ are presented on pages 12-13 of the report though each country will have its own RD&I priorities.

The report also undertakes an examination of global hydrogen publications and patents data for the period 2010-2020.

While the collected data is sensitive to the search strategy and key words developed, overall, the publications and patents data is suggestive of an increased pace of knowledge enquiry and innovation in hydrogen-related areas since the middle of the last decade. This is discussed on pages 13-15 of the report.

The report offers a number of conclusions (page 17) including that there is good reason to believe (a) that progress is being made, and (b) that hydrogen-related RD&I intensity will continue to grow and enable the next wave of global hydrogen industry development. The conclusions also highlight that it will be critical for all nations with an interest in clean hydrogen to ensure that hydrogen RD&I is nurtured through this decade, if the hydrogen industry vision which many have articulated is to be realised.

The report’s findings formed the basis of a pre-recorded CSIRO-led webinar that will be featured as part of the COP26 contribution of the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

The principal author of this article is Peter Grubnic: peter.grubnic@futurefuelscrc.com (who contributed to the short report).


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