A new report from the national science agency, CSIRO, maps the critical research steps Australia must follow to realise a potential 7,600 jobs and $11 billion a year by 2050 from the hydrogen industry.

The report found that continued research investment can help to solve industry challenges and create five key national opportunities:

  • hydrogen imports;
  • integration of hydrogen into gas networks;
  • transport;
  • electricity systems, and;
  • industrial processes.

Steps to translate Australia’s strong hydrogen research sector into a key pillar of the nation’s energy and export profile are laid out in the report Hydrogen Research Development & Demonstration: Priorities and Opportunities for Australia.

In Australia, 23 institutions are researching hydrogen and there are 23 hydrogen-specific demonstration projects and research facilities.

CSIRO research director Dr Patrick Hartley said that CSIRO is on a mission to bring together industry, government and other research organisations to fast-track emerging hydrogen technologies.

“This isn’t limited to the domestic industry development – we’ll link Australian expertise with international projects. The overall focus will be on enabling Australia’s domestic and export hydrogen industries,” Dr Hartley said.

“Importantly, solving the challenges identified can have a multiplier effect that boosts demand for hydrogen – particularly in large-scale industrial settings – and encourages further hydrogen supply cost reductions through improvements in efficiency and economies of scale.”

The report was sponsored by the Department of Innovation, Industry and Science, the Victorian Government, Woodside, BHP, ARENA and Origin. It builds on CSIRO’s 2018 National Hydrogen Roadmap and contributed to the development of the recently-released Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy.