AUSTRALIAN RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY (ARENA)
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) was established by the Australian Government in 2012 to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy.
ARENA’s Investment Plan 2019 included hydrogen as one of its three priority investment areas:
Priority Two: Accelerating Hydrogen
ARENA will help drive innovation in hydrogen supply chains, from production to end use, creating opportunities across the domestic economy, and positioning Australia to become a major renewable energy exporter.
This focus continued in ARENA’s Investment Plan 2021 where commercialisation of clean hydrogen is included as a strategic funding priority, and similarly in ARENA’s General Funding Strategy for the period 2022-23 to 2024-25.
ARENA has supported a large number of hydrogen-related activities, including:
- Under its Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, in May 2021, ARENA announced conditional funding of around AUD$103 million for three projects, with electrolyser capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) for each project. As of October 2022, one of these projects has progressed to the construction stage (conditional funding of AUD$47 million). Final awards/announcements for the remaining two projects are yet to be made (as of October 2022).
- Approximately AUD$80 million awarded to 20 feasibility studies, pilot and demonstration projects in the period 2018-2022.
- Approximately AUD$22 million awarded (in September 2018) to 16 research projects covering the full hydrogen value chain.
- Reports covering Australia’s hydrogen export potential, development of tools to assess benefits/costs of regional communities switching to hydrogen, and an examination of public perception of hydrogen energy in Australia.
In June 2021, the Australian and German Governments established the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator (HyGATE) to support real-world pilot, trial, demonstration and research projects along the hydrogen supply chain. Australia and Germany have respectively committed up to AUD$50 million and €50 million to establish HyGATE. ARENA is administering the Australian portion of the initiative; the Australian funding round opened in March 2022.
In September 2020, the Australian Government announced a package of measures to invest in new and emerging technologies, including a total funding package of AUD$1.62 billion for ARENA, made up of:
- Baseline funding of AUD$1.43 billion over ten years to extend current funding beyond 2022.
- Approximately AUD$193 million for a package of policy measures to deliver a series of targeted programs:
- AUD$71.9 million Future Fuels Fund to support new electric vehicle charging and hydrogen-refuelling infrastructure (this Fund was subsequently increased by an additional AUD$177.7 million for a total funding of approximately AUD$250 million);
- AUD$24.5 million to support higher productivity and lower emissions in Australia’s heavy vehicle fleets;
- AUD$47.0 million to support large energy-using businesses to identify opportunities to adopt new technologies and increase productivity; and
- AUD$52.6 million for microgrids in regional Australia
ARENA-funded hydrogen projects can be accessed via the ARENA Projects webpage (by choosing ‘Hydrogen energy’ in the Category filter) or via the ARENA News webpage.
The ARENA Knowledge Bank contains many reports arising from ARENA-funded hydrogen energy activities (as above, by choosing ‘Hydrogen energy’ in the Category filter). These reports cover a wide range of project and research activities, including technical and economic evaluations, permitting and regulatory matters, and community engagement and perception aspects.
In July 2022, the Australian Government introduced the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Amendment (Powering Australia) Regulations 2022. The new regulations expand ARENA’s mandate to allow the agency to support energy efficiency and electrification technologies that can reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- Electrification technologies include technologies such as electric vehicle chargers, heat pumps and mining applications.
- Energy efficiency technologies can reduce and manage demand, reduce energy costs and emissions, as well as support a flexible and renewable grid.
For more information visit arena.gov.au.
Updated: October 2022