Gladstone is in line to be ‘ground zero’ for a budding Australian hydrogen industry under a $1.14 billion National Hydrogen Plan announced by federal Labor.
The plan includes investing $3 million to establish a National Hydrogen Innovation Hub in Gladstone.
It would see $1 billion of funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation allocated to support clean hydrogen development.
The Minerals Council of Australia welcomed the Federal Opposition’s hydrogen strategy as a positive development for Australia’s future energy policy.
Chief executive officer Tania Constable said hydrogen offered an exciting new option as part of a diverse future global energy mix.
“Given Australia’s significant coal resources, our country is well-placed to become a global producer of hydrogen in the future,” she said.
“Converting Australian coal into hydrogen offers one of the best ways to provide a steady and reliable energy source that is not dependent on the weather.”
Opposition leader Bill Shorten announced the policy today in Gladstone, where Northern Oil plans to manufacture the gas at its Yarwun biorefinery.
“We have a vision for Australia in the future which is one where hydrogen is one of our energy sources and one of our great exports,” Mr Shorten said.
“It’s the equivalent dare I say of LNG 2.0 and we want to make Queensland and Gladstone ground zero for hydrogen technology in this nation.”
ACIL Allen Consulting projects that hydrogen exports could contribute $3.6 billion per annum to the Australian economy and generate nearly 6000 jobs by 2030.
LNP Senator and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said unlike Labor the Coalition was already supporting both a potential hydrogen industry and the existing coal sector.
“Labor’s announcement of $1 billion from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation does not represent any new investment because the CEFC can already invest in hydrogen,” he said.
“Any talk of some kind of hydrogen plant under a Labor Government in the future is a pipedream because I am sure Labor and the Greens will find some finch or frog to stop such a major project, just as they are trying to do with the Adani mine.”
Senator Canavan said the Federal Government was investigating and investing in hydrogen technologies, with more than $100 million invested in supporting hydrogen projects.
“We are working with the states through COAG on a hydrogen roadmap and led the commissioning of a national hydrogen strategy for 2020-2030 which will be completed by the end of this year,” he said.