Destination: hydrogen. Australia’s transition plan to lower emission #ST23 [fr]
The Australian first Low Emissions Technology Statement was released on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 by federal energy minister Angus Taylor. This statement is the first annual milestone of the Technology roadmap to guide investments framework.
While the Roadmap is a long-term strategy to accelerate the development and commercialisation of new and emerging low emissions technologies, the statements will annually articulate the Government’s technology investment priorities and progress towards them.
This framework outline the government’s plans to:
- Preserve and create jobs, capture new opportunities and revitalise Australia’s regional economies
- Lower household living expenses with abundant, clean and low-cost energy
- Build competitiveness by leveraging our comparative advantages
- Attract and retain the best minds in priority low emissions technology research
Exploring Australia’s big technology challenges and opportunities, it targets public investments in five specific areas: clean hydrogen, energy storage, low-carbon steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage, and soil carbon storage. For all five priorities low emissions technologies, stretch goals have been set with reference to the current costs of today’s incumbent technologies:
- Clean hydrogen under $2 per kilogram
- Energy storage — electricity from storage for firming under $100 per MWh (which would enable firmed wind and solar at pricing at or below today’s average wholesale electricity price)
- Low carbon materials — low emissions steel under $900 per tonne and low emissions aluminium under $2,700 per tonne
- Carbon capture and storage (CCS) under $20 per tonne of CO₂
- Soil carbon measurement under $3 per hectare per year
To archive these goals, large-scale deployment thanks to the private sector (commercialisation) of these new technologies are necessary to reduce costs. To gain investor’s trust, the government’s role is to show a clear vision and strong institutional support over the long term (through existing government institutions ARENA, CEFC, RECs), remove regulatory barriers, and make targeted public investments (training, support for commercialization, demonstration projects, and R&D). Since 2014-15, AU$10 billion has already been invested in solar, wind and energy efficiency. The government plans to invest more than AU$18 billion in low-emission technologies by 2030, and between AU$50 and AU$100 billion by involving the private sector.
A range of actions can stimulate industry growth, such as encouraging hydrogen hubs, developing international supply chains, ongoing research and investment in both proven and emerging production technologies, and domestic incentives to create hydrogen demand.
The Government’s new AU$1.9 billion investment package in new energy technologies includes new commitments that will support hydrogen, including AU$1.6 billion in new funding for ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency), AU$74.5 million Future Fuels package, and AU$70.2 million to activate regional hydrogen export hubs. This will build on over AU$500 million committed towards hydrogen projects by the Government at the launch of the National Hydrogen Strategy in 2019.
International partnerships will be supported, including access to global markets and more competitive supply chains. The government will also prioritise partnerships that focus on critical research, development and deployment challenges for economically important, hard-to-abate sectors.
These plans are released while many countries (including France) are announcing ambitious hydrogen plans: Europe recently published its strategy (A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe, European Commission, 2020) to optimise the contribution of hydrogen to the energy transition, with strong partners to fill the perilous gap between invention and commercialisation, like the FSH JU.
The FCH JU is a public-private partnership (PPP) between two members, the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and Hydrogen Europe (an European association of more than 160 industry companies, 83 research organisations and 21 National Associations), supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies to enable a sustainable hydrogen-oriented economy.
The CEA, a world leading research organizations in the development of technological building blocks for the hydrogen industry, is one of the six French research organisations involved. The recent agreement between Symbio (a French hydrogen fuel cell moduls manufacturer) and the CEA, to accelerate the industrialisation of competitive hydrogen fuel cell systems on a world scale for the energy transition of transport, illustrates the ongoing essential cooperation between research and industry: the CEA-Liten site in Grenoble will focus on materials research and component development, while Symbio will be responsible for component testing up to the setting up of a dedicated industrial line.
From now on, the next key milestone before COP26 will be the publication the Australia’s technology-focussed Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy.
Download the Australian first Low Emissions Technology Statement :