Applications have closed for ARENA’s $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, with strong interest being recorded in developing commercial scale hydrogen projects.
ARENA announced that it has received 36 expressions of interest (EOI) in the funding round with a combined value of more than $3 billion.
The funding round, which follows the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy last year, aims to support two or more large scale renewable hydrogen projects, with electrolysers of a minimum 5 MW capacity and with a preference for 10 MW or larger.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the agency had received over $1 billion in total grant requests with over $3 billion in total combined project value when you account for private sector investment in the EOIs.
“This is an important step for the sector and it looks like we have many companies now ready to start building large scale renewable hydrogen projects across a range of industries and end uses,” he said.
“The fact that we’ve received expressions of interest for projects totalling over $3 billion in cost and almost 500 MW in size shows that we’re beginning to see companies embrace making hydrogen through renewable means.
“While we’re only at the early stages of renewable hydrogen production in Australia, much like our role in making large scale solar competitive, ARENA aims to help bring down the cost of hydrogen, build Australia’s skills and capacity, create jobs and activity in regional areas and help Australia achieve our emissions reduction objectives.”
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Australia has abundant resources that provide a distinct advantage when it comes to developing a hydrogen industry that can provide thousands of jobs across regional Australia and lower emissions.
“The strong interest in the Morrison Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round shows Australian industry is ready to co-invest with Government and build a sustainable hydrogen sector,” the Minister continued.
“These projects will help us reach our H2 under $2 technology goal sooner, with $2 per kilogram hydrogen making it a viable alternative to other sources of energy.
“This builds on our existing hydrogen industry that supports our hugely successful agriculture and mining sector.”
ARENA will now assess the expressions of interest and invite shortlisted projects to submit a full application, with the aim of awarding funding by the end of 2020.
Projects selected in the funding round can also be considered for further financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) under the CEFC’s $300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund.