Real-world pilot, trial, demonstration, and research projects along the hydrogen supply chain are set to get a boost by the German-Australia Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator known as HyGATE.
Australia and Germany have committed up to AU$50 million and €50 million, respectively, to invest in hydrogen projects with a focus on hydrogen produced from renewables – otherwise known as ‘green hydrogen’.
Broadly speaking, green hydrogen is produced from water using electrolysers powered by renewable energy.
Funding will be provided from the $565.8 million committed in the 2021-2022 budget initiative to establish low emissions technology partnerships and initiatives with key trading and strategic partners.
Australia’s Special Adviser on Low Emissions Technology, Dr Alan Finkel, has played a key role in brokering the hydrogen partnership with Germany and will continue to work with ARENA in the delivery of HyGATE, the group announced.
Australian and German industry and research partners to lead the way
All projects funded under the HyGATE initiative are required to be linked to hydrogen from renewables, have a forward-looking approach and advance novel solutions on a pilot-scale under real-world conditions, to progress renewable hydrogen towards commercialisation.
A key element of the initiative will be bringing together Australian and German industry and research partners to deliver the projects.
This move follows the announcement made by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry, Energy, and Emissions Reduction in June that the two countries will invest in a series of new initiatives to accelerate the development of a hydrogen industry, creating new economic opportunities and jobs while reducing emissions.
The Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord, executed by the two countries, builds on respective strengths, with Australia looking to be a major hydrogen exporter and Germany holding expertise in hydrogen technology and planning to import significant quantities of hydrogen in the future.
Funding initiative opens Q1 2022
ARENA’s focus will be on the first initiative of the Accord, which is to establish HyGATE with the German Ministry for Research (BMBF).
The funding initiative is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2022.
On the German side, Project Management Jülich (PtJ) will implement HyGATE on behalf of BMBF.
Growing the renewable hydrogen economy
ARENA CEO Darren Miller welcomed the opportunity to work with BMBF.
“Having already committed over $160 million into renewable hydrogen research, studies and electrolyser deployments, ARENA now has an opportunity to highlight Australia’s innovation and commitment to being at the forefront of a renewable hydrogen economy.”
This sentiment was reiterated by Dr Finkel who said the HyGATE initiative was an “important step to fast-track the development of zero emissions hydrogen technologies.”
“International partnerships are key to accelerating the development of low emissions technologies to unlock their emissions reduction potential,” he said.