Earth Chat

Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy

It is very easy to become despondent about our global future. We see so many problems that appear to be insoluble. But hydrogen is a major source of optimism to avoid irreversible climate change. Hydrogen is a key to our global, zero carbon future.

Here is some good news. The global hydrogen industry is exploding worldwide.  And Australia is well placed to meet a significant proportion of world demand; here’s how.

In 2019 the Australian Government published its Hydrogen Strategy. Government, business and industry realised that hydrogen was an opportunity too good to miss and that Australia was well placed to exploit that opportunity. Here’s why.

Two thirds of Australia is desert, which is perfect for solar farms. The deserts have some of the highest solar radiation in the world, almost zero cloud cover and air pollution. In addition, Australia has thousands of kilometres of coastline with persistent strong winds.  So, Australia has plenty of renewable energy for making Green Hydrogen for the world.

Australia has so much natural gas, it has established a large domestic distribution system as well as huge processing and port facilities to export liquid natural gas to the world. Unfortunately, Australian gas has been a major contributor to global Carbon emissions. Fortunately, this gas legacy means that it can be quickly and cheaply adapted to hydrogen. Australia has the resources, infrastructure, skills and global trade to meet new hydrogen demand. In fact, Australia exported its first hydrogen shipment in early February this year.

The purpose of the National Hydrogen Strategy is to ensure governments and businesses are prepared with the development, production, and marketing of new green hydrogen facilities to meet global demand as the demand grows. 

To this end, Australia has already signed mutual cooperation agreements with some East Asian countries. These agreements are to develop their hydrogen industries for mutual benefit. As a result, some multi-billion dollar developments have already been approved for massive hydrogen production.

Fortunately, there are many countries around the world that are preparing for the new hydrogen economy. There is every hope we can still avoid irreversible climate change.

End Note:

  • Embedding Hydrogen in Hong Kong’s energy mix means it can meet zero carbon many years ahead of 2050. 
  • Developing Hong Kong’s hydrogen industry is part of Friends of the Earth (HK)’s key Policy Advocacy Strategy. 


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