New Zealand – Hydrogen Industry Policy Initiatives
In September 2019, The New Zealand Government released for consultation the green paper “A vision for hydrogen in New Zealand”. The consultation period ended on 25 October 2019. The green paper looked at the scope of New Zealand’s hydrogen potential to frame discussions for a national strategy.
The green paper sought feedback about the challenges and opportunities, and the Government’s role, in nine key areas:
- Hydrogen production
- Hydrogen electricity nexus
- Hydrogen for mobility
- Hydrogen for industrial processes
- Hydrogen for seasonal power generation
- Decarbonisation of gas
- Hydrogen for export
- Innovation expands job opportunities
- Transitioning the job market
The green paper, along with the submissions, will feed into a wider long-term renewable energy strategy for New Zealand.
The next stage of the hydrogen strategy is a roadmap that will explore the issues that need to be resolved (and steps to be undertaken for resolution) for the use of hydrogen use in the wider economy. The first stage in the development of the hydrogen roadmap is an analysis of potential hydrogen supply and demand in New Zealand, for which preliminary results were prepared in May 2020.
The Taranaki region in New Zealand is seen as a highly prospective area to host hydrogen developments. In March 2019, the New Zealand Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, launched the H2 Taranaki Roadmap.
The Roadmap outlines a series of projects that, together with leveraging the existing significant energy industry skills and infrastructure in the region, can facilitate the development of a hydrogen industry.
In May 2019, the New Zealand Government announced the establishment of the National New Energy Development Centre in Taranaki, with an allocation of NZ$27 million from the Wellbeing Budget. The Centre would look at the full range of emerging clean energy options such as offshore wind, solar batteries, hydrogen and new forms of energy storage.
The Centre complements other New Zealand Government investments in hydrogen, Green Finance Ltd, the Zero Carbon Bill and the (upcoming) renewable energy strategy.
Funding support for hydrogen plans, feasibility studies and larger scale projects has come from:
- The Provincial Growth Fund- supported preparation of the H2 Taranaki Roadmap, the Firstgas hydrogen pipeline pilot feasibility study and the Kapuni Renewable Hydrogen Project
- The Infrastructure Reference Group – supported the New Zealand Hydrogen Refuelling Network project.
The Catalyst: Strategic Call for Proposals: New Zealand – Germany Green Hydrogen Research Investment Round February 2021 opened for applications on 29 March 2021 (and closed on 4 June 2021). The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will fund up to three proposals with up to NZ$2 million available for each project over three years (with the applicants’ German counterparts to apply for funding through a parallel Call for Proposals by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research). Proposed research projects are to be in one of the following six green hydrogen sub-topics:
- Production of green hydrogen through electrolysis, including direct photocatalysis
- Production of hydrogen from biomass by gasification or fermentation
- Thermochemical water splitting using high-temperature solar collectors
- Research on system and sector integration of green hydrogen, including hydrogen use in urban settings and heating systems, and hydrogen integration into gas grids
- Logistics and transport media including life-cycle assessment and synthetic transformations (e.g. liquid organic carriers, ammonia and other options)
- Material science: fuel cell technology and electrolysis considering efficiency and sustainability.
Updated: July 2021.