A report from the national science agency, CSIRO, provides a roadmap for the critical research steps Australia must take to transform the burgeoning hydrogen industry into a $11 billion per year business by 2050.
There is also potential to create 7600 jobs, according to the report which identifies five key opportunities including: hydrogen exports; integration of hydrogen into gas networks; transport; electricity systems; and industrial processes.
Entitled Hydrogen Research Development & Demonstration (RD&D): Priorities and Opportunities for Australia, the report said the nation’s current research footprint includes 23 institutions actively exploring the technology as well as another 23 hydrogen-specific demonstration projects.
CSIRO research director Dr Patrick Hartley said the science agency was on a mission to bring together industry, government and other research organisations to fast-track emerging hydrogen technologies.
“This isn’t limited to the domestic industry development – we’ll link Australian expertise with international projects," Dr Hartley said.
"The overall focus will be on enabling Australia’s domestic and export hydrogen industries.
“Importantly, solving the challenges identified can have a multiplier effect that boosts demand for hydrogen – particularly in large scale industrial settings – and encourages further hydrogen supply cost reductions through improvements in efficiency and economies of scale.”
To stimulate domestic and international collaboration, CSIRO has also developed an interactive Technology Marketplace for industry, government and other research institutions to understand technology benefits, current state, RD&D priorities and active Australian institutions.
In developing the report, researchers undertook extensive consultation including interviews with representatives from 35 industry and government organisations, over 80 interviews with researchers from 23 institutions, and an extensive literature review.
The report was sponsored by the Department of Innovation, Industry and Science, the Victorian Government, Woodside, BHP, ARENA and Origin.
It builds on CSIRO’s 2018 National Hydrogen Roadmap and contributed to the development of the recently-released Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy.