Australian Governments back a hydrogen future and reliability changes

Media release

22 November 2019

The COAG Energy Council has today met in Perth and endorsed Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy and agreed on action to help secure the reliability of the National Energy Market (NEM).

Energy Council Ministers noted that worldwide demand for hydrogen is set to increase substantially in coming decades. Australia is well placed to become a major supplier, as countries such as Japan and South Korea look to hydrogen as a fuel source which can also help lower emissions.

With the Liberal National Government’s strong focus on the need for reliability in a rapidly changing National Electricity Market, Energy Council Ministers also agreed to task the Energy Security Board to provide advice on short-term reforms to maintain the reliability and security services required by the market.

This will include a review of the electricity reliability standard and consideration of an out-of-market strategic reserve. The advice, due by March 2020, will support actions to keep the lights on before important generation and storage projects such as Snowy 2.0 take effect.

This review is critical in ensuring that we have enough reliable generation in the National Electricity Market.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy, released by the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council, outlines actions to support the development of a hydrogen industry that offers enormous benefits to Australia’s economy and environment.

"The National Hydrogen Strategy will set Australia on a path to become a major player in the global hydrogen industry by 2030”, Minister Taylor said.

“By growing strong domestic hydrogen industry, we will be able to see the practical benefits of hydrogen here at home with cheaper power bills, improved system reliability and emissions reduction.”

The Liberal National Government will take a national coordination role on the implementation of the Strategy through a $13.4 million commitment. This will build on the more than $146 million the Government has already committed to support hydrogen projects in Australia.

The Strategy includes the development of an inaugural National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment, working with the jurisdictions on implementing smart and consistent regulation, and addressing safety concerns through membership with the US Hydrogen Safety Centre. The Government will also focus on building international trade partnerships and take a lead role in developing international hydrogen standards to advance Australia’s interest.

With the support of all governments, hydrogen exports could be worth around $11 billion a year in additional GDP and generate 7,600 new jobs by 2050, many in regional Australia.

The National Hydrogen Strategy is available at https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/australias-national-hydrogen-strategy

To read the full COAG Energy Council Communique, please visit: http://www.coagenergycouncil.gov.au/publications/22nd-energy-council-meeting-communique

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction