The federal government has promised that 8000 new jobs will be the result of its future hydrogen vision in Australia.
Prime minister Scott Morrison and energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor on Monday pledged an additional $150 million to establish two new hub locations under the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program.
The government is yet to determine where the new hubs will be, but flagged Bell Bay (TAS), Darwin (NT), Eyre Peninsula (SA), Gladstone (QLD), Latrobe Valley (VIC), Hunter Valley (NSW), and Pilbara (WA) as possible locations.
The now $464 million grant program offers up to $3 million grants for project consortia to initially progress feasibility and design work.
It also provides co-funded grants of up to $70 million to industry rolling out hub projects in regional Australia.
Taylor said the hydrogen industry could create around 8000 new Australian jobs and generate over $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050.
“The development of Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs would help the emerging industry work towards achieving the stretch goal of hydrogen production at under $2 a kilogram under the government’s Technology Investment Roadmap,” he said in a statement.
“Australia has the potential to be a world leader in the production of affordable and clean hydrogen.”
Hydrogen, which is the most abundant element in the universe, has formed a key plank of the government’s vision to transition towards clean energy through its National Hydrogen Strategy.
The prime minister said the hydrogen hubs would create jobs across Australia and expedite its push to be a global leader in the new energy economy.
“Our plan to invest and develop low emissions industries will mean more jobs for Australian workers, particularly in our regions, cheaper energy for businesses and lower emissions,” Morrison said.
The hydrogen program is open nationwide but the government says the seven locations have been identified because of strong interest and activity from industry, and each location’s existing capabilities, infrastructure and resources.
Australia’s emissions policies are set for international scrutiny when it attends the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.