AUSTRALIA INVESTS $190 MILLION INTO HYDROGEN FOR GREEN ECONOMIC BOOST
On May 3, the Australian government announced the creation of a $190 million fund to develop hydrogen technology. The move supports the country’s ambitions of becoming a hydrogen export leader by 2030, supplying fuel to growing markets such as Japan and South Korea (Bloomberg). “We see green hydrogen as offering the most credible pathway to decarbonization for high emitting sectors,” said the chief executive of the government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Reuters).
Most hydrogen used today is extracted from natural gas, a process that produces carbon emissions. However, “green” hydrogen may be extracted from water in a carbon-free process that requires a large amount of renewable energy. Analysts say the falling price of renewables may help lower the costs of hydrogen, but that widespread use would still require major investments in infrastructure (Reuters).
On April 30, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, urged governments to invest in green technologies such as hydrogen in their pandemic response packages. Green hydrogen has already won the favor of some countries, such as the Netherlands and Portugal, which have made investments in the technology. Germany, Britain, Australia, and Japan have announced or have made progress on hydrogen strategies (Reuters). On May 5, the European Union’s energy chief indicated that new fuel sources such as hydrogen are central to the Energy System Integration Strategy that the European Commission will unveil in June (EURACTIV).