New Zealand

Country: New Zealand

Document type: Vision

Title: A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand

Released: September 2019

Summary Points:

Hydrogen Roadmap for New Zealand – Under Preparation

A hydrogen roadmap for New Zealand is under preparation: it is intended to provide a blueprint for the development of a hydrogen industry in New Zealand.

As part of its Emissions Reduction Plan, the New Zealand Government has committed to developing a hydrogen roadmap by 2023; the roadmap is to explore the issues that need to be resolved for hydrogen’s use in the economy, the steps that should be taken to harness hydrogen opportunities, and when these may need to occur.

The hydrogen roadmap will inform the New Zealand Energy Strategy, due to be finalised by the end of 2024.

The hydrogen roadmap builds on previous and related works on hydrogen, including the 2019 Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand, the hydrogen scenarios modelling project report (and associated) modelling tool published in 2022, and the review of regulatory settings to support non-traditional uses of hydrogen.

A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand

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.

NZ hydrogen report

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

Hydrogen Scenarios and Modelling Project

Following release of the Vison, and as the first stage in the development of a hydrogen roadmap, an initial analysis of potential hydrogen supply and demand in New Zealand was undertaken. The modelling project suggested that demand for hydrogen is likely for heavy vehicle fleets, with other niche vehicle uses likely to follow similar technology tipping points. Gas pipeline blending to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from combustion for heating was also possible.

This initial modelling effort was extended to develop potential scenarios for a future New Zealand hydrogen economy, along with key drivers of these scenarios, to be used to help inform policy and investment decision-making and enable the roadmap to determine the right size for a hydrogen economy in New Zealand. This finalised hydrogen scenarios report is dated June 2022.

Hydrogen Regulatory Settings

The Government is undertaking a review of New Zealand’s regulatory settings to evaluate if they are fit-for-purpose for facilitating the safe introduction of non-traditional hydrogen technologies and applications. As part of the process, a report (dated July 2022) was commissioned to review the regulatory frameworks required to support a future hydrogen economy in New Zealand and potential reform pathways.

In addition, Standards New Zealand has completed a scoping study outlining a suite of standards adoption recommendations to enable the use of hydrogen across New Zealand. An implementation strategy is in development.

Funding and Other Support Measures

Various funding avenues have supported the advancement of hydrogen plans, feasibility studies, research and development, and larger scale projects, including through the Provincial Growth Fund, the Provincial Development Unit, the Endeavour Fund (administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – MBIE), the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, and the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund/Low Emission Transport Fund (these latter Funds in supporting hydrogen vehicles uptake).

The array of funding and support measures can be accessed here.

The New Zealand Budget 2023, released in May 2023, provides NZ$32.5 million to accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen as a means to decarbonise energy in hard-to-abate sectors.

International Collaborations

The Government is collaborating internationally to support research and development of hydrogen technologies, including arrangements with Japan, Germany and Singapore.

In particular, the MBIE and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) have announced 3 collaborative projects under the New Zealand–Germany Green Hydrogen Research Programme. The MBIE is funding three projects at a cost of NZ$2 million each (for a total of NZ$6 million) with matching funding being made available by BMBF to the German research partners.

Taranaki Hydrogen Roadmap

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 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.


Updated: May 2023