6 applicants shortlisted for $2B Hydrogen Headstart funding

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced six applicants who have been shortlisted for the $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart Program. 

The shortlisted applicants are bp Low Carbon Australia, HIF Asia Pacific, KEPCO Australia, Origin Energy Future Fuels, Stanwell Corporation Limited, and Murchison Hydrogen Renewables Pty Ltd as trustee for Murchison Hydrogen Renewables Project Trust. 

ARENA is calling on these companies to submit a full application in the next stage of the Hydrogen Headstart Program. 

Together, these applicants represent a total electrolyser capacity of over 3.5 GW across various end uses, placing them amongst the largest renewable hydrogen projects in the world, according to ARENA. 

These companies are developing projects that involve deploying large-scale electrolysers of at least 50 MW in size, making a significant and faster impact on a new renewable hydrogen industry. The projects are located in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, and Western Australia. 

The Hydrogen Headstart Program, announced in the 2023-24 budget, was established to catalyse Australia’s hydrogen industry to tap into the nation’s opportunity to be a global hydrogen leader. 

Under the program, projects seeking to produce renewable hydrogen or derivatives can apply for a production credit delivered over 10 years to bridge the commercial gap between the cost of producing renewable hydrogen and the market price. 

“Hydrogen Headstart is a crucial step towards keeping Australia on the path to become a global hydrogen leader, creating new export opportunities, while helping to decarbonise our economy,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller. 

“The applicants shortlisted for the next stage provide us with the best opportunity at fast-tracking our renewable hydrogen industry. It’s great to see the commitment from Australian companies who are looking to invest in and utilise hydrogen in their own decarbonisation efforts.” 

Hydrogen Headstart builds on ARENA’s success as a leader in renewable hydrogen, with the Agency having already committed over $315 million to 48 renewable hydrogen projects since 2017. 

The funding is in addition to over half a billion dollars of Australian government funding awarded to regional hydrogen hubs in places such as the Hunter, Gladstone, and the Spencer Gulf. 

“ARENA has long supported an Australian renewable hydrogen industry. Hydrogen Headstart is the logical continuation of our work, providing further funding to support the acceleration of renewable hydrogen,” Miller said.