Tasmania – Hydrogen Industry Policy Initiatives
In November 2019, Hydro Tasmania, a Tasmanian Government business enterprise, released a paper on Tasmania’s ‘green hydrogen’ opportunity, which noted the opportunities for renewable hydrogen production utilising Tasmania’s high-capacity factor wind energy supported by hydropower supply.
In November 2019, the Tasmanian Government released a Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Prospectus, which provides industry-specific detail on renewable hydrogen development opportunities in Tasmania.
In March 2020, the Tasmanian Government released the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan (‘Action Plan’). The Vision is that ‘Tasmania will use our existing and expandable renewable energy resources to become a leader in large-scale renewable hydrogen production. From 2030 we will be a significant global supplier of renewable hydrogen for export and domestic use.’
The Goals of the Action Plan are:
By 2022 to 2024
- Tasmania has commenced production of renewable hydrogen.
- Locally produced renewable hydrogen is being used in Tasmania.
- Export based renewable hydrogen production projects are well advanced.
By 2025 to 2027
- Tasmania has commenced export of renewable hydrogen.
- Tasmania is a significant global producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen
- Locally produced renewable hydrogen is a significant form of energy used in Tasmania.
The Action Plan identifies four key pillars to underpin the Vision and Goals:
- Explore the opportunities for using locally produced renewable hydrogen in Tasmania and for export
- Provide financial support for renewable hydrogen projects for export and domestic use, and continue investment attraction activities including with international trade partners
- Ensure a robust and supportive regulatory framework and assess supporting infrastructure
- Build community and industry awareness, develop skills, and support research and education.
In May 2020, the Tasmanian Government established the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program (‘Funding Program’), an AUD$50 million competitive program designed to provide key support measures for hydrogen-related initiatives, including:
- an AUD$20 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Fund
- up to AUD$10 million in support services including financial assistance for renewable electricity supply
- AUD$20 million in concessional loans.
The Funding Program was available for projects and feasibility studies related to renewable hydrogen production, storage, distribution, export and domestic use within Tasmania.
Project and feasibility study submissions closed in August 2020. Successful feasibility studies were announced in November 2020. AUD$2.6 million was provided under the Renewable Hydrogen Fund to support three feasibility studies that investigated large-scale renewable hydrogen projects in Tasmania. At the time, Fortescue Metals Group’s potential development of a 250-megawatt (MW) hydrogen and green ammonia production facility at Bell Bay was also noted. The findings of the feasibility studies were released in July 2022.
The funding program did not proceed to the second stage.
Also in November 2020, the Tasmanian Government released the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan Status Report that outlines how the State is tracking in implementing the 25 Actions under the Action Plan.
In January 2021, the Tasmanian Government signed an MoU with Woodside Energy to demonstrate support for the 10 MW H2TAS renewable hydrogen project and commit to working collaboratively on the proposal.
In February 2021, the Minister for Energy announced that the Tasmanian Government had matched the AUD$100,000 awarded by National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) to the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone as one of the successful applicants of NERA’s Regional Hydrogen Technology Clusters Seed Funding Program. An additional AUD$100,000 in funding to support the cluster was announced by the Tasmanian Government in August 2021.
In November 2021, the Tasmanian Government announced that it had lodged its official funding submission with the Australian Government to initiate the Tasmanian Green Hydrogen Hub Project at Bell Bay.
In December 2021, the Tasmanian Government announced it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of Rotterdam to work together to investigate the feasibility of future exports of green hydrogen from Bell Bay to the Port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. This was followed in February 2022 with the Tasmanian Government announcing it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the region of Flanders, in Northern Belgium, to support cooperation on green hydrogen development.
In March 2022, the Tasmania Government noted that it had made up to AUD$12.3 million available for the trial of green hydrogen buses and the investigation of opportunities to use green hydrogen for trucking and marine vessels, with Metro Tasmania already having begun work on the integration of green hydrogen into its fleet, and the development of refuelling infrastructure and hydrogen supply chains.
In July 2022, in releasing the findings from three feasibility studies funded under the AUD$50 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, the Tasmanian Government indicated that Commonwealth funding for a Tasmanian Green Hydrogen Hub at Bell Bay (under the Regional Hubs program) would have matching support from the Tasmanian Government working with its Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and departments.
The October 2022-2023 federal budget released on 25 October 2022 confirmed funding awards to Tasmanian based projects via the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program:
Hub Implementation Grants
- Tasmanian Government’s Tasmanian Green Hydrogen Hub – up to AUD$70 million
Hub Development and Design Grants
- Origin Energy Green Ammonia Project for Export Bell Bay – up to AUD$3 million
In October 2022, the Tasmanian Government released the Draft Future Gas Strategy for Tasmania, with the strategy noting that ‘The Government has committed to work with the incumbent natural gas distribution network infrastructure owner to explore opportunities for hydrogen blending at up to 10 per cent and to investigate potential trials of higher hydrogen blends in Tasmania’s hydrogen compatible gas distribution networks.’
Updated: January 2023