The clean hydrogen industry is enjoying considerable momentum in Australia, with an estimated $1.16bn (AUD$1.5bn) channelled towards progressing clean hydrogen projects since 2018, according to an updated report from HyResource, a knowledge platform supporting the development of Australia’s hydrogen industry.

A hydrogen fuel cell bus in Perth, Australia, in March 2005. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The investment has largely come from the national government, which contributed a total of $920m. Another $325m came from local governments across six Australian states, and industry or research bodies contributed $245m.

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The authors note $263.7m in the national government’s 2021/22 budget for the development of carbon capture and storage projects, to make ‘blue’ hydrogen from natural gas. Beyond this, the report centres on ‘green’ hydrogen production from renewable energy-powered electrolysis (apart from one coal gasification and one biomethane project).

According to HyResource, there are 61 clean hydrogen projects operating across the country. Regionally, Western Australia leads the way with 19 projects, followed by Queensland and Victoria with 18 and 6, respectively.

There are 23 projects in the ‘operating and under construction’ phase or in ‘advanced development’. The end-use applications these projects target are hydrogen in gas networks (for heating), in transport and in (micro-grid) power generation.

Around 40% of all projects include hydrogen in transport as a potential end use, including for passenger vehicles, heavy transport and commercial vehicles.