This report demonstrates that the Australian public are supportive of the opportunities that are emerging from a potential hydrogen industry.
Around the world there is growing excitement about the potential for an emerging hydrogen economy to transform many countries’ energy supply. Australia, rich in renewable energy resources, is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity, particularly in light of the interest expressed by its close trading partners, Japan and South Korea, to import hydrogen. A hydrogen supply chain requires the deployment of emerging technologies at scale, and will require public support in order to be successful.
While technical research is well underway there was a gap in understanding of the general public’s views towards hydrogen. Through a mixed methods approach combining a literature review, ten focus groups (N=92) and a nationally representative online survey (N=2,785) we set out to explore the Australian public’s response to the burgeoning opportunities of hydrogen for export, transport and domestic use.
The results demonstrate that the Australian public are supportive of the opportunities that are emerging from a potential hydrogen industry. Many felt that there are a number of opportunities for hydrogen projects to be developed in regional Australia, with hydrogen eventually being made available to local consumers as long as it was cost competitive with conventional technologies. However, use and the management of Australia’s valuable water resources and any associated land use change were also deemed critical for community support.
Those living in regional Australia were excited about the prospects of new skills and jobs associated with this burgeoning industry. Although production from renewable sources was most preferred there was a pragmatic acceptance of the need to transition over time and in places that are heavily reliant on fossil fuel production these emergent opportunities were also welcomed.