The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has taken a crucial step in the development of a national hydrogen and renewable gases industry with the release of a draft report outlining what changes to the gas and energy retail rules are needed to include hydrogen and renewable gases in the Australian market.

The AEMC’s draft recommendations lay the foundations for the development of a decarbonised gas sector in Australia through the forming of national regulatory framework so low-level hydrogen blended gases and renewable gases can be safely supplied to existing distribution systems and appliances in homes and businesses.

“Hydrogen is one of a handful of new, low-carbon, zero-emissions fuels that can be used for heating and cooking in homes,” says AEMC chair Anna Collyer.

“In the future, the hydrogen sector may grow to include power generation and some industrial processes. Electrolysers that create hydrogen may also provide beneficial services to the electricity market such as contributing to demand response and essential system services.

“These reforms are considered a priority under the Australian Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy, and we need to make sure they’re delivered in an efficient, safe and secure way that’s also in the best interests of consumers.”

The AEMC’s draft recommendations aim to provide clarity around access to pipelines; support well informed decision making by market participants and consumers; enable the safe supply of low-level blended gases; and provide consumer protections through billing and pricing.