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The Queensland Government has appointment a Minister for Hydrogen, an Australian first.

The position will be held by Mick de Brenni who is also responsible for energy, renewables, public works and procurement.

Australian Hydrogen Council CEO, Dr Fiona Simon, congratulated the Premier for creating the Ministerial portfolio.

“This is the right time to recognise hydrogen with a portfolio in its own right,” she said.

“By creating a hydrogen portfolio, the Queensland Government recognises hydrogen as an important new industry in the economic recovery, and a great opportunity for Queensland.

“This portfolio is also well-positioned with Minister de Brenni’s other portfolios of energy, renewables, and public works and procurement. These are complementary portfolios for realising Queensland’s hydrogen objectives.”

The Queensland Government also allocated $145 million for renewable energy zones with ambitions to develop hydrogen hubs.

Meanwhile, in Victoria the Hydrogen Test Bed project now up and running at Deakin's Warrnambool campus.

This five-year $2.3 million industry-led research project - delivered in partnership with Future Fuels CRC - is a key step in establishing south west Victoria as a hub of hydrogen expertise.

The Hydrogen Test Bed project will see researchers bury currently used gas pipes in purpose-built sandpits, fill them with hydrogen and monitor them over a five-year period. The research aims to understand the suitability of current Australian gas infrastructure for transporting Hydrogen.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Nolene Byrne said this globally significant research will help to safely introduce hydrogen into existing natural gas networks in Australian homes and businesses.

“This project is looking at all parts of the reticulated gas network, including welds, junctures, regulators and appliances, so that we can safely introduce hydrogen into existing infrastructure” Associate Professor Byrne said.

Research results aim to extend the life of existing Australian infrastructure while investing in clean energy solutions.

David Norman, CEO, Future Fuels CRC, said this collaborative approach to research will enable Australia’s energy sector to adapt its infrastructure to net zero emissions fuels. “Australia can take advantage on the strength of our existing industry and infrastructure to deliver safe, affordable, and reliable zero emissions fuels,” he said.

The Hydrogen Test Bed project is located within the proposed Hycel Technology Hub precinct at Deakin’s Warrnambool Campus in south-west Victoria.

Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the installation of the Hydrogen Test Bed facility is a vital step in the establishment of a hydrogen hub of expertise in the region.

 

The establishment phase of the Hycel Technology Hub was established with $2 million in Federal Government funding in December 2019.

 

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