South Australia’s Hydrogen Plan

Could South Australia capitalise on its renewable resources to develop into a Hydrogen powerhouse? State Premier Steven Marshall has released the state’s Hydrogen Action Plan which includes the commitment of over $1 million towards a landmark study to identify optimal locations for renewable hydrogen production and export infrastructure.

The Hydrogen plan sets out twenty key actions across five key areas to help scale-up renewable hydrogen production for export and domestic consumption, and contribute to the South Australian Growth State Plan.

The blueprint that will help underpin a safe and secure export sector and accelerate hydrogen into the South Australian domestic economy was announced at this week’s International Conference on Hydrogen Safety at the Adelaide Convention Centre in front of hundreds of global experts.

Premier Marshall (“a liberal premier that gets the climate transition”) said the export of hydrogen presents significant economic opportunity for South Australia.

“The Liberal Government is ambitious for South Australia, and we are focused on achieving a step change in our State’s economic growth [and] welcome new industries that build on our natural advantages, such as hydrogen, and believe that it fits well into our state’s burgeoning enterprise culture and start-up sector,” he said.

“This initiative will drive the export of hydrogen from South Australia both interstate and overseas, bolstering our economy, and presenting future job opportunities.

Renewable Hydrogen Export Opportunities for South Australia

 

State Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan addressed the conference saying “It’s likely that nowhere else in the world is as well positioned as South Australia to produce, consume and export 100% green hydrogen.

“Some of our longest-standing and closest trading partners are signaling that they will need hydrogen to make their energy transitions over coming decades, and we want to make the most of that growth opportunity by becoming a hub for the export of renewable energy.”

He added that the plan builds upon the state’s leading role in hydrogen and renewable energy and that the initiative fits in perfectly with plans to help deliver more reliable, more affordable and cleaner energy for the state.

A copy of the Action Plan is available at www.hydrogen.sa.gov.au

In the preamble to the South Australia’s Hydrogen Action Plan the Premier noted more than 50 per cent of South Australia’s energy mix is already generated through renewable sources, and that the development of new interconnection and storage technologies such as hydrogen will support South Australia to become a net 100 per cent renewable energy generator during the 2030s, enabling the state to capture significant economic benefits from renewable energy exports.

“Through the production of renewable hydrogen, South Australia can help meet the world’s energy demands while reducing emissions at home and abroad,” the Premier wrote.

“Now is the time to step up the development of a hydrogen economy. While South Australia is not alone in setting its sights on developing a hydrogen economy, the State has a first mover advantage.”

The Hydrogen Action Plan also aligns with the Marshall Liberal Government’s Growth State Plan, which aims to sustain the State’s annual economic growth rate at 3 per cent.

Australia's largest electrolyser comes online in 2020 in metropolitan Adelaide.

The South Australian Government is also drafting key chapters of the National Hydrogen Strategy on behalf of COAG Energy Council with Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel. The working group has already identified hydrogen as Australia’s next multi-billion export opportunity, and modelling for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has forecast Australian hydrogen exports could contribute $1.7 billion and 2,800 jobs to the national economy by 2030.

At this week’s International Conference on Hydrogen Safety in Adelaide Dr Finkel explained to how good safety regulations can be used to encourage the development of the hydrogen fuel industry, both in Australia and globally.

“As Chair of the Council of Australian Government’s Hydrogen Working Group, I can report that we are currently developing our National Hydrogen Strategy by examining five areas of opportunity,” he said.

First – Analysing the benefits, risks, and barriers to using hydrogen as a transport fuel in Australia by 2030.

Second – the interplay between hydrogen production and electricity system operation, and the opportunities for clean hydrogen production and storage to contribute to the resilience of Australia’s electricity systems.

Third – Analysing the challenges and issues related to introducing hydrogen into Australia’s gas distribution networks, and examining the actions needed to start blending hydrogen into these networks.

Fourth – exploring opportunities for developing an export market for Australian hydrogen with partner countries.

And finally – investigating opportunities for hydrogen as a chemical feedstock and source of industrial heat.

“I am, therefore, acutely aware of the unparalleled possibilities this source of power can unleash,” the Chief Scientist said.