Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton emphasised the potential for clean hydrogen as a way to effectively export the renewable energy produced by Australia’s world-class sun, wind, water and bioenergy resources.
“Clean hydrogen is an exciting opportunity that uses technology developed by scientists at CSIRO to make the gas export-ready” Mr Thornton said. “There is a large international market for hydrogen emerging, particularly in Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan, which is committed to working towards a hydrogen-based economy. The government’s interest and support for this industry of the future is obviously welcome, but it needs to be accompanied by serious policy and strategy development to realise a massive new opportunity. The Clean Energy Council believes clean hydrogen should be developed as part of a national clean energy export strategy, which is one of the recommendations of our 2019 Federal Election recommendations. The strategy should also assess measures such as undersea cables to supply electricity to international markets in south-east Asia”.
Thornton added that ARENA has played an incredibly important role in helping to develop early-stage clean energy technology but that while the agency is expected to spend almost all of its available funding in the next 12 months and wind up in 2022, its job is only half done.
“If the Federal Government is serious about developing Australia’s hydrogen potential, it also needs to extend the funding of ARENA to allow it to leverage expertise that will help to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen in Australia and develop a promising new export earner for the future” Thornton said.
The Clean Energy Council has made a series of policy recommendations for political parties ahead of the Federal Election.