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Morrison’s tech roadmap flags hydrogen as priority technology

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Clean hydrogen is one of five priority technologies outlined today in the Morrison Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement – the first milestone in Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap.

Released by Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor, hydrogen production under $2 per kilogram is named as a priority technology and economic stretch goal to make new technologies as cost-effective as existing technologies.

Other technologies mentioned include energy storage, low-carbon materials, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and soil carbon measurements.

Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap is a framework to accelerate technologies that will deliver lower emissions, lower costs and create jobs.

Hydrogen will play a central role in achieving this, with Australia well positioned to produce, use and export hydrogen at scale.

“Today’s release of the Low Emissions Technology Statement highlights the transformational impact that hydrogen will have on Australia’s economy,” said Australian Hydrogen Council CEO Dr. Fiona Simon.

“To date the Australian Government has committed $570m towards the development of hydrogen and $18bn over the next decade in low emissions technologies.”

“By investing the lion’s share of this in hydrogen the government will turbo charge the industry, create jobs for the Covid-19 recovery and achieve its emissions reductions goals at the same time.”

“This investment is a leap in the right direction for the hydrogen industry.”

Simon said she was pleased the Australian Government has picked up on the ideas contained in the Australian Hydrogen Council’s submissions about the need for government investment in hydrogen to draw through three to five times the amount from the private sector.

“The Australian Hydrogen Council will continue to work with all hydrogen stakeholders on the required steps to reach the target of getting hydrogen to $2/kilogram and support the deployment and commercialisation of hydrogen,” she added.

The Low Emissions Technology Statement says the government will now commence 11 key actions, including:

  • Establishing a Technology Investment Framework to prioritise the Government’s investments in new technologies.
  • Investing $1.9bn in a new energy technology package; establishing Australia’s first regional hydrogen export hub, a King Review Co-Investment Fund, a CCS Deployment Fund and a Future Fuels Fund to support new and emerging technologies.
  • Introducing legislative reforms to ARENA and the CEFC to give their boards flexibility to respond to the Government’s priorities.
  • Requiring key agencies (ARENA, CEFC and the CER) to focus on accelerating the priority technologies.
  • Directing key agencies to publicly report on what action they are taking to accelerate the priority technologies.
  • Establishing a permanent Technology Investment Advisory Council, including the Chairs of key agencies, to advise on the development of the second Annual Statement. Annual Statements are the mechanism the government will use to guide, track and measure the impact of investments in new energy technologies.
  • Expanding Australia’s international collaboration with trading partners.
  • Conducting a review of legislative or regulatory barriers to technology uptake as part of the second annual Low Emissions Technology Statement.
  • Completing the development of Australia’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Strategy before COP26.

“Getting the technologies of the future right will support 130,000 jobs by 2030, and avoid in the order of 250 million tonnes of emissions in Australia by 2040,” said Taylor in a statement.

“If these technologies achieve widespread deployment globally, they will significantly reduce emissions from energy, transport, agriculture and heavy industry.”

“These sectors account for 90% of global emissions and emit 45 billion tonnes each year.”

“The government expects to invest more than $18bn in low emissions technologies over the decade to 2030, in order to drive at least $50bn of new investment over the next ten years.”

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