New South Wales
New South Wales – Hydrogen Industry Policy Initiatives
Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program
In March 2020, the NSW Government released its Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030. The Net Zero Plan seeks to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.and includes an action to support commercialisation of hydrogen as an emerging and innovative technology for emissions reduction.
NSW Government funding support for hydrogen technology will be provided under the Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program (‘Program’), which was announced in March 2021 (and is part of the Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030).
Funding for the Program focuses on three key areas, all of which can be accessed by hydrogen project proponents:
- High Emitting Industries – AUD$380 million allocated to support major plant and industry upgrades to deliver significant emissions reductions
- New Low Carbon Industry Foundations – AUD$475 million to build enabling infrastructure, increase supply chain capabilities, and supporting emerging clean manufacturing precincts in NSW (this amount includes a AUD$300 million increase in funding announced in February 2022)
- Clean Innovation Technology – AUD$195 million supporting the development and continued innovation of emerging clean technologies.
Detailed information on the Program, including specifics about each funding stream, key areas of focus and a registration of interest process (particularly relevant to hydrogen project proponents and potential users of hydrogen) can be found here.
New Low Carbon Industry Foundations
Developing Hydrogen Hubs in NSW
A specific objective of New Low Carbon Industry Foundations (‘Foundations’) is to develop hydrogen hubs in the Hunter and Illawarra regions, which will be supported by up to AUD$150 million of grant funding (an increase from the original announced amount of AUD$70 million). The development of green hydrogen hubs will also be supported by the NSW Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) under the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.
In March 2022, the NSW Government noted that more than AUD$4 billion in potential investment proposals was received in response to Stage 1 (Expressions of Interest) of a competitive funding process for commercial-scale green hydrogen projects in NSW.
In May 2022, it was announced that 10 projects from the above-mentioned competitive funding process for commercial-scale green hydrogen projects in NSW have been shortlisted to progress to the full application stage (with applications due by 12 August 2022 and awards targeted for the latter part of 2022). The shortlisted projects cover a wide range of end uses, including heavy transport, agricultural products, industrial feedstocks, power generation, gas blending and export.
Hume Hydrogen Highway Initiative
Also under the Foundations stream, in March 2022, the Governments of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland announced an agreement to collaborate on the development of an east coast renewable hydrogen refuelling network by 2026, focusing on the freight corridor routes of the Hume Highway, the Pacific Highway and the Newell Highway. The initiative is to commence with Victoria and New South Wales each providing AUD$10 million to support the design and delivery of renewable hydrogen trucking infrastructure between Sydney and Melbourne, including long-haul hydrogen fuel cell electric freight vehicles.
In July 2022, it was announced that applications opened for AUD$20 million in grant funding to support the development of at least four refuelling stations along the Hume highway and approximately 25 hydrogen-powered trucks (with grant applications closing 21 October 2022 in New South Wales).
The October 2022-23 federal budget released on 25 October 2022, under the Driving the Nation Fund, includes an allocation by the Commonwealth of matched funding to that already committed by New South Wales and Victoria (AUD$20 million) and makes available the same amount to other jurisdictions on a matching basis (up to AUD$60 million, for a potential total Commonwealth outlay of AUD$80 million).
New South Wales Hydrogen Strategy
In October 2021, the NSW Government launched the NSW Hydrogen Strategy. By 2030, the Government is aiming to be producing 110,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum from 700 megawatts (MW) of electrolyser capacity for under $AU2.80 per kilogram.
2030 Stretch Targets in the Strategy include:
- Hydrogen price under AUD$2.80 per kilogram
- 110,000 tonnes per annum of green hydrogen produced
- 700 MW of electrolyser capacity
- 12 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity
- 10% hydrogen (by volume) gas network blending
- 10,000 hydrogen vehicles
- 100 hydrogen refuelling stations
- 20% hydrogen vehicles in the NSW Government heavy vehicle fleet
In addition to delivering an already committed AUD$70 million at time of Strategy release (since increased to AUD$150 million) to develop the State’s hydrogen hubs in the Illawarra and the Hunter, the strategy includes:
- Exemptions for green hydrogen production from government charges;
- A 90% exemption from electricity network charges for green hydrogen producers who connect to parts of the network with spare capacity;
- Introduction of a Renewable Fuel Scheme designed to create a financial incentive for the production of green hydrogen based on a market-based certificate scheme with hydrogen production targets set for each compliance period
- A hydrogen refuelling station network to be rolled out across the State.
The Strategy notes that it provides up to AUD$3 billion of incentives to commercialise hydrogen supply chains and reduce the cost of green hydrogen by an estimated AUD$5.80 per kilogram. Much of the legislation relevant to the Hydrogen Strategy is in the Electricity Supply Act 1995 (refer Energy Legislation Amendment Act 2021 No 34 [NSW] Schedule 1 Amendment of Electricity Supply Act 1995 No 94).
The Renewable Fuel Scheme commences in 2024, with a target increasing to 8 petajoules (PJ) or 67,000 tonnes by 2030.
Reports and Other Initiatives
Following release of the State’s Hydrogen Strategy, the NSW Government released the NSW P2X Pre-Feasibility Study. The study was commissioned by the Office of NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer with the objective of assessing the technological pathways of different P2X industries and identification of prospective locations for large-scale P2X production in NSW.
In May 2021, the NSW Government announced the development of a dual fuel capable hydrogen/gas power plant following conclusion of a funding agreement for the Tallawarra B project in the Illawarra region. The Ministerial announcement noted that under the funding agreement, the project proponent will offer to buy enough green hydrogen equivalent to over five per cent of the plant’s fuel use from 2025 (200,000 kg of green hydrogen per year) and will offset direct carbon emissions from the project over its operational life.
In July 2021, the NSW Government released its Future of Gas Statement. Amongst other things, the Statement notes that natural gas could be supplemented with alternative fuels such as hydrogen or renewable biogas, and that during the transition, existing distribution pipeline infrastructure has capacity to introduce new fuel blends up to technical operating limits.
In January 2022, the NSW Government announced that LAVO Hydrogen Storage Technology would receive a AUD$5 million grant from the state’s Regional Job Creation Fund to support establishment of a manufacturing facility at Tomago, in the Hunter region of NSW.
In the 2022-23 NSW Budget, presented in June 2022, AUD$10 million was allocated for a trial of hydrogen-powered electric buses on the Central Coast.
In October 2022, the NSW Environmental Trust awarded AUD$6.3 million in grants to clean technology R&D projects to support emissions cuts in high-emitting or hard-to-abate industries, including AUD$1.5 million to Hysata to support development of their water electrolyser technology.
In February 2023, an announcement was made of a contribution of AUD$243,944 towards the Hunter Hydrogen Infrastructure Master Plan through the Regional NSW – Business Case and Strategy Development Fund.
Commonwealth Regional Hydrogen Hubs Initiatives
The October 2022-2023 federal budget released on 25 October 2022 confirmed funding awards to New South Wales based projects via the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program:
Hub Implementation Grants
- Port of Newcastle’s Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub – up to AUD$41 million
- Origin Energy’s Hunter Valley H2 Hub – up to AUD$41 million
The October 2022-23 federal budget also included funding allocations of relevance to regional hydrogen hubs development, included an allocation of AUD$100 million to support the Port of Newcastle and the Hunter region of New South Wales to become hydrogen-ready.
Updated: February 2023