The Western Australian (WA) government has opened a $10 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund and made cash available to feasibility studies, demonstration or capital works projects. The fund will assist projects to develop WA’s renewable hydrogen industry and attract investment in hydrogen infrastructure with grants from $300,000 to $3 million.
Under the fund, the Perth metropolitan area is line for up to $2 million, while a bulk of the funding – up to $7 million – will be available in regional WA locations. An additional $1 million will be dedicated to resourcing, regulatory analysis, and other Government work to be undertaken by the newly established Renewable Hydrogen Unit, which will administer the fund.
The fund aims to help the state become a significant producer, exporter and user of renewable hydrogen. In so doing, it will seek to deliver a set of 2022 goals and develop a pathway to meet longer-term 2040 goals outlined in the WA Renewable Hydrogen Strategy unveiled in July.
“This fund will help to attract major private sector investment to WA to drive forward the emerging renewable hydrogen industry,” WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said. “The fund will favour those projects that create new jobs, skills and training opportunities – particularly in regional WA.”
Referring to the short-term goals, the minister added: “Priority will be given to applications that fall within WA’s four strategic focus areas for investment and demonstrate progress towards meeting the goals identified in the Strategy: export, use of renewable hydrogen in remote applications, blending in the gas network and use in transport.”
Green hydrogen has already joined natural gas in WA pipelines in a project led by Canadian gas giant ATCO and backed by the WA Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). ATCO’s $3.3 million Clean Energy Hub trials the production, storage and use of renewable hydrogen to energize a commercial-scale microgrid in Jandakot, and assess the practicalities of replacing natural gas with hydrogen at a city-wide scale across a municipality.
The WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund will be open for proposals for the next six weeks and close at 5pm Wednesday, October 30. Information on the application process can be looked up here: http://www.drd.wa.gov.au/projects/EnergyFutures