Australia tries to boost hydrogen competitiveness


From pv magazine Global | via the Hydrogen Stream

Australia is facing competition in the hydrogen race from other countries that have stimulated their industries through subsidies. Australia is now seeking to create an enabling investment environment through the provision of enhanced regulatory certainty and the development of a domestic hydrogen guarantee of origin scheme as well as grants, incentives, and access to lower interest financing via the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s $300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund. “Australia’s announced pipeline of over 100 hydrogen projects is worth around $230-300 billion of potential investment. This represents close to 40% of all global clean hydrogen project announcements, and underlines Australia’s potential to be among the global leaders,” said Chris Bowen, Australia’s minister for Climate Change and Energy, in the State of Hydrogen 2022 publication. The report explains that, as of December 2022, only one project with a 10 MW capacity or higher has passed FID from this pipeline of investment.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $50 million for two funding rounds targeting research and development for renewable hydrogen and low-emission iron and steel. “Funding for successful research and development projects will be provided over two phases, with an initial laboratory-based research phase followed by a commercialisation phase aimed at scaling up and demonstrating research breakthroughs,” said ARENA. $25 million will be allocated to each of the funding rounds, with grant funding for successful applicants expected to range between $500,000 and $5 million.

Subsidised hydrogen produced via electrolysis from renewable (green) or nuclear power (pink) can reach levelised production costs under USD 2/kg in the United States. “Fully depreciated operating nuclear plants yield higher capacity factors and, when only accounting for operating expenses, pink hydrogen can reach production levels lower than green hydrogen,” said Lazard and Roland Berger in a new study. The LCOE report then analyses the levelised cost of green and pink hydrogen using PEM and alkaline electrolysers under unsubsidised and subsidised scenarios. LCOH for green hydrogen with PEM electrolysers goes from USD 0.48 to USD 1.81 ($0.72 –$2.70) with subsidies and is in the range of USD 2.75 to USD 4.08 without subsidies. LCOH for green hydrogen with alkaline electrolysers goes from USD 1.16 to USD 2.99 with subsidies and is in the range of USD 3.47 to USD 5.29 without subsidies. LCOH for pink hydrogen with PEM electrolysers goes from USD 0.83 to USD 2.83 with subsidies and is in the range of USD 3.79 to USD 5.78 without subsidies. LCOH for pink hydrogen with alkaline electrolysers goes from USD 1.68 to USD 4.28 with subsidies and is in the range of USD 4.77 to USD 7.37 without subsidies. The report also explained that “while hydrogen-ready natural gas turbines are still being tested, preliminary results, including our illustrative LCOH analysis, indicate that a 25% hydrogen by volume blend is feasible and cost competitive.”

Hopium said it wants to prioritise the development of its technology to capitalise on its expertise quickly, while “keeping the Hopium Machina in sight.” The French company reorganized its activities around two divisions: Hopium Technologies, which develops the fuel cell for the professional market, and Hopium Automotive, whose mission is to develop a range of hydrogen vehicles for the general public.

Toyota announced releasing details for three new Crown models. One of them, the Sedan Crown car, is a hydrogen fuel cell model. The car is expected to be launched in autumn 2023. The new model will be the company’s second FCEV offering after Toyota Miral. 

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