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Australia's ARENA to oversee hydrogen project with Germany


Australia and Germany have committed up to A$50 mil and Eur50 mil for renewable hydrogen projects

Germany-Australia signed hydrogen accord in June

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will team up with Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to administer the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator, called HyGATE, and support pilots, trials, demonstrations and research for hydrogen projects, Australia's federal agency said in a statement Nov. 23.

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Germany and Australia signed the 'Germany Australia Hydrogen Accord' June 13 to produce renewable hydrogen, with Australia looking to become a major hydrogen exporter and Germany having expertise in hydrogen technology importing significant quantities of hydrogen.

"Having already committed over A$160 million ($115.58 million) into renewable hydrogen research, studies and electrolyser deployments, ARENA now has an opportunity to highlight Australia's innovation and commitment to growing and being at the forefront of a renewable hydrogen economy," ARENA CEO Darren Miller said.

Australia and Germany have committed up to A$50 million and Eur50 million, respectively, to invest in new renewable hydrogen projects. Australia will provide the funds from A$565.8 million committed in the 2021-22 budget initiative to establish low emissions technology partnerships and initiatives with key trading and strategic partners, the statement said.

The country's Special Adviser on Low Emissions Technology Dr Alan Finkel, who played a key role in brokering the hydrogen partnership with Germany will work closely with ARENA and Australia's Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to deliver HyGATE.

"The HyGATE initiative is an important step in bringing together Australian and German technological excellence, to fast-track the development of zero-emissions hydrogen technologies," Dr Finkel said.

ARENA and BMBF aim to open a new funding round for HyGATE in the first quarter of 2022.

According to Australia's National Hydrogen Strategy, by 2050, Japan alone intends to import up to 10 million tonnes of hydrogen per year, while the Republic of Korea, China, and the United States will have millions of hydrogen vehicles on their roads, and the European Union will be using hydrogen for heating, transport, and industrial applications to meet its 2050 target of net zero emissions.

"Our major energy trading partners have set clear targets as waypoints to becoming 'hydrogen societies'," National Hydrogen Strategy said.

S&P Global Platts assessed New South Wales Hydrogen produced via alkaline electrolysis, including CAPEX at A$3.4/kg Nov. 22, down 41.88% from A$5.58/kg Oct. 22.

New South Wales Hydrogen produced via coal gasification with CCS and including capex CAPEX was assessed at $2.55/kg Nov. 22, down 23% from A$3.33/kg Oct. 22.