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What is hydrogen energy?

Hydrogen is the most common chemical in the universe. It can be produced as a gas or liquid, or made part of other materials, and has many uses such as fuel for transport or heating, a way to store electricity, or a raw material in industrial processes.

When it is produced using renewable energy or processes, hydrogen becomes a way of storing renewable energy for use at a later time when it is needed.

Hydrogen energy can be stored as a gas and even delivered through existing natural gas pipelines. When converted to a liquid or another suitable material, hydrogen can also be transported on trucks and in ships. This means hydrogen can also be exported overseas, effectively making it a tradable energy commodity.

Hydrogen in Australia

Like the rest of the world, the main use of hydrogen in Australia is as a raw material for industrial processes. Renewable hydrogen use in Australia would help us to reduce emissions in those high-temperature industries as well as some transport sectors.

Work is also underway to understand how hydrogen could be used to power our homes.

The Australian Government, industry and researchers have undertaken a substantial amount of work to quantify the opportunities of renewable hydrogen in Australia –

According to research conducted for us, demand for hydrogen exported from Australia could be over 3 million tonnes each year by 2040, which could be worth up to $10 billion each year to the economy by that time.

How are we supporting the hydrogen industry?

Our purpose is to support the global transition to net zero emissions by accelerating the pace of pre-commercial innovation, to the benefit of Australian consumers, businesses and workers.

In 2019, we launched the Renewable Hydrogen Development Funding Round to help fast track the development of a renewable hydrogen industry. Over $100 million has been conditionally approved to develop three commercial-scale renewable hydrogen projects in Australia. At 10 MW, the electrolysers in these hydrogen plants will be among the largest so far built in the world.

In 2018, we announced an investment of $22.1 million in funding for 16 hydrogen research projects. These projects aim to deliver cost reductions and efficiency gains through innovative, disruptive technology developments to meet the Government’s goal of H2 under $2 and develop an export supply chain based on hydrogen.

Through supporting these projects and connecting investment, knowledge and people to deliver energy innovation, we are helping to build the foundation of a viable hydrogen industry in Australia.

What do we look for in hydrogen energy projects?

  • feasibility studies or development funding for large-scale electrolyser projects
  • feasibility studies or development funding for export projects
  • commercial-scale deployments of large-scale electrolysers focused on industries and applications with large potential demand for hydrogen
  • demonstration-scale projects involving electrolysers in transport or remote area power systems with hydrogen production replacing diesel generation
  • projects that support the implementation of the National Hydrogen Strategy
  • projects that demonstrate the use of hydrogen in industrial processes.

Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge Bank iconWe share knowledge, insights and data from our projects to help the renewable energy industry and other projects learn from each other’s experiences.

Read hydrogen project reports in the Knowledge Bank

Explore our hydrogen projects

Learn how we work with renewable energy technologies

Last updated 05 June 2023
Last updated
05 June 2023


Budget 2023: ARENA to shape green hydrogen future

The 2023 Federal Budget has established a $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart initiative for large scale green hydrogen projects.

Success for ARENA hydrogen R&D funding

An ARENA Knowledge Sharing report reveals 16 hydrogen research and development projects have blossomed into several world leading start-ups, multiple patent applications, and unexpected advances.

Renewable hydrogen, iron and steel researchers, step on up

ARENA is seeking applicants for two separate research & development funding rounds worth a total of $50 million.

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