The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has opened applications for the $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program, which is designed to turbocharge the nation’s hydrogen industry.
The Federal Government announced the program in the 2023-2024 Federal Budget and projects seeking to produce renewable hydrogen or derivatives at scale can apply for a production credit delivered across 10 years to bridge the gap between the cost of producing renewable hydrogen and the market price.
ARENA and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) designed the program following consultation with more than 400 stakeholders, including 114 written submissions and three public forums.
As a promising zero-emissions energy vector and feedstock, renewable hydrogen has the potential to transform Australia’s energy system – including in hard-to-abate sectors – but the emerging industry needs government support to upscale.
ARENA has committed more than $308 million to 46 renewable hydrogen initiatives since 2017, including research deployment projects such as hydrogen refuelling and hydrogen trucks; hydrogen for producing renewable ammonia, hydrogen for use in alumina refining; and remote power.
“ARENA has been there at every step of Australia’s hydrogen journey, and we’re thrilled to be delivering this transformative Hydrogen Headstart program,” says ARENA CEO Darren Miller.
“With Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources, we’re well placed to be a global leader in the renewable hydrogen industry.
“As other countries step up their ambitions, Australia is meeting the challenge and providing the investment we need to stay competitive in the global hydrogen race.
“This is the Australian Government’s largest investment in renewable hydrogen to date and a critical step in unlocking Australia’s renewable energy superpower.”
Expressions of interest in the Hydrogen Headstart program are open until 10 November, 2023.
To apply, visit arena.gov.au/funding/hydrogen-headstart.