Australia’s opportunity as a hydrogen export market to Asia
As hydrogen emerges as a low-emissions fuel source, Australia has a unique opportunity to become the leading hydrogen export market to Asia, according to ANZ.
The ANZ Hydrogen Handbook released in February predicted demand for hydrogen exported from Australia to reach more than 3 million tonnes a year by 2040, adding about US$10 billion a year to the economy.
According to the handbook, the export of hydrogen represents a key opportunity for Australia to be a global leader in hydrogen, particularly for key customers in Asia.
It said countries such as Japan and South Korea were looking to replace imported fossil fuels, and that Australia had a competitive advantage because of its abundant wind and solar energy resources coupled with reduced transportation costs due to its proximity to the Asia Pacific region.
Australia has hydrogen policies with Asian countries including Japan, Singapore and the Republic of Korea.
The ACHTP supported projects to develop export supply chains and commercialise production of clean hydrogen.
“Establishing clean hydrogen supply chains will facilitate investment into Australia and will create jobs for Australians, many in our regional areas,” Industry, Energy
and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said.
The specially built Suiso Frontier carrier in Victoria shipped Australian-made hydrogen to Japan as part of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project.
The HESC project aims to produce carbon-neutral hydrogen from a mix of Latrobe Valley coal and biomass, then capture and store CO2 via the CarbonNet project and
optimise energy efficiency in the HESC supply chain.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the project was a world-first that aimed to produce 225,000 tonnes of clean hydrogen each year.
“The HESC project puts Australia at the forefront of the global energy transition to lower emissions through clean hydrogen, which is a fuel of the future,” Mr Morrison said.
To support Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy, the 2021-2022 Federal Budget included $539.2 million for hydrogen and carbon capture, use and storage projects.
Over the next five years, $275.5 million of the budget will be used for the development of four clean hydrogen hubs in regional Australia.
Although Australia’s export market opportunity is promising, the handbook reinforces that work still needs to be done.
“In order to achieve the full commercialisation of a hydrogen industry, there is still some way to go for hydrogen to reach cost-parity with its fossil fuel competitors,” it said.
Expanding Australia’s target export regions would require a reduction in costs for both the transport and storage of hydrogen, requiring advancements in technology
across the industry.