Help us shape Hydrogen Headstart

ARENA wants hydrogen industry and stakeholders to help create a transformative scale up of Australia’s renewable hydrogen capacity.

‘Australia has all the ingredients to be a global leader in renewable hydrogen’

Australia’s $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart Initiative has reached an important stage. Consultation is now open.

Announced in the 2023 Federal Budget, Hydrogen Headstart aims to deliver up to a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity by 2030.

The flagship program will likely support some of the biggest hydrogen projects yet built and operated in Australia.

The plan is to provide grant funding in the form of a hydrogen production credit delivered over 10 years. The funding will cover the commercial gap between the cost of renewable hydrogen production and the sales price of hydrogen or its derivative products.

By creating certainty early in project development, Hydrogen Headstart will deliver a step change in Australia’s renewable hydrogen production.

How will the consultation process work?

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) is working in collaboration with ARENA on the design of Hydrogen Headstart.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller says ARENA and DCCEEW want to consult widely with industry and stakeholders.

“Australia has all the ingredients to be a global leader in renewable hydrogen,” he said.

“The consultation paper we’ve launched today will kick off discussions about how Hydrogen Headstart can best deliver for the Australian public.”

The joint DCCEEW and ARENA-published consultation paper outlines indicative specifications for the program. It covers proposed objectives, eligibility criteria and funding mechanism, as well as other features of the program.

DCCEEW and ARENA will be accepting written submissions, hosting an information webinar and running in-person consultation forums in Sydney and Perth.

Following the consultation period, ARENA and DCCEEW will develop the final program design.

How has ARENA supported renewable hydrogen?

Artist render feature image
AGIG’s 10MW Hydrogen Park Murray Valley development will receive $36.1 million ARENA funding (Artist render)

ARENA already has a proven track record in stimulating innovation in the green hydrogen sector.

ARENA recently announced $25 million for Hydrogen Research & Development (R&D) funding.

In January, ARENA allocated another $50 million to four hydrogen projects, supported as part of the joint Australian-German HyGATE initiative.

ARENA in 2022 conditionally approved $47.5 million for the first 10 MW electrolyser plant in the Pilbara.

A second 10 MW electrolyser project has now reached financial close with ARENA committing $36.1 million to Australian Gas Networks’ (AGIG) Hydrogen Park Murray Valley development in Wodonga in north-eastern Victoria

All told, ARENA has provided $250 million to 44 renewable hydrogen projects from early-stage research to deployment projects and studies.

Projects have included hydrogen refuelling and hydrogen trucks, hydrogen for producing green ammonia, hydrogen for use in alumina refining, gas blending and remote power.

The Hydrogen Headstart consultation paper can be found on the DCCEEW Consultation Hub.

Registrations are now open for public consultation workshop in Sydney on Monday, July 17, Perth on Thursday, July 20, or for the online session on July 24.

Consultation closes on August 2, 2023.