AHC welcomes Australia's Budget billions to grow hydrogen sector

The Australian Hydrogen Council has welcomed the Federal Budget's big investment in Australia's hydrogen industry, applauding its support for the industry's growth.

Hydrogen pipes purple

Dr. Fiona Simon, CEO of the The Australian Hydrogen Council (AHC), has praised the government's commitment to hydrogen in the Federal Budget delivered last night, saying, “The Australian Hydrogen Council is delighted to see this Federal Budget deliver the significant investment required to match the ambition and opportunity of the Australian hydrogen industry, manufacturing industry and our trading partners."

"Hydrogen delivers comparative advantage to Australia not only as a molecule but as the critical pathway to decarbonise hard to abate sectors, and establish new high value exports in green steel, green iron and green ammonia."

"This budget reflects that production, technology and jobs are all essential parts of ensuring a future made in Australia for hydrogen," Simon said.

The budget includes several key measures aimed at boosting the hydrogen industry. A notable provision is the $2 billion expansion of the Hydrogen Headstart program, which is important for early hydrogen projects. Hydrogen Headstart focuses on projects producing hydrogen from renewable energy, or derivative products (for example ammonia or methanol). Successful projects will have the opportunity to receive funding as a production credit.

Also unveiled in the budget, the $6.7 billion Hydrogen Production Tax Incentive. Over the next decade, starting from 2027, this support will provide certainty to early projects as they make investment decisions. An incentive of $2 per kilogram of renewable hydrogen produced between 2027-28 to 2039-40, for up to ten years per project, aims to make renewable hydrogen production viable for eligible Australian resident corporations.

The $1.7 billion allocation for the Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund is also welcomed by the AHC. This fund supports innovation, commercialization, and early-stage development in priority sectors, including renewable hydrogen.

Other budget announcements include $17.1 million over four years for delivering the 2024 National Hydrogen Strategy, covering areas such as hydrogen infrastructure planning, social license, and industry safety training and regulation. The budget also includes $32.2 million to fast track the initial phase of the Guarantee of Origin scheme, with a focus on renewable hydrogen, and plans for expansion to green metals and low carbon liquid fuels.

The budget also invests in the clean energy workforce, with $91.0 million aimed at developing the workforce, including funding for VET teacher, trainer, and assessor workforce, as well as clean energy training facility upgrades.

Dr. Simon expressed readiness to collaborate with various government agencies, stating, "We look forward to working with the Federal Government, Net Zero Economy Authority, Australian Renewable Energy Agency and other agencies as the Future Made in Australia policy progresses and other budget initiatives are rolled-out to industry."

Hear Dr Fiona Simon, CEO of Australia's Hydrogen Council, discuss the potential impact of the budget announcements on Australia's hydrogen industry in an interview on ABC Radio here.

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