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Australia’s hydrogen industry is poised for substantial growth, as a recent report from NERA and Arup indicates. The comprehensive analysis, titled “Powering Up: Seizing Australia’s Hydrogen Opportunity by 2040,” delves into the hydrogen supply chain and outlines the potential for significant economic benefits. By 2040, the industry could contribute $40 billion to domestic Gross Value Added (GVA) and generate 58,000-72,000 jobs annually.

To begin with, the study examines a plausible configuration of the hydrogen supply chain in 2040. The findings emphasize the considerable economic potential. The hydrogen industry should constitute nearly 1% of the national GVA, especially in regional areas.

Additionally, anticipating a surge in demand to 9.5 million metric tons (MMT) by 2040, Australia must embark on massive infrastructure development. This includes a five-fold increase in solar and wind capacity, numerous electrolyzers, compressors, and over 5,000 hydrogen storage tanks. Also, the estimated infrastructure investment ranges between $340-$420 billion, with an annual investment of $25-$30 billion from 2025 to 2040.

Moreover, Miranda Taylor, CEO of NERA, underscores the necessity of substantial investment to unlock hydrogen’s full potential. She notes the role of local capabilities, job creation, and decarbonization efforts, especially in regional areas. The report emphasizes the urgency for swift, strategic action to develop a robust hydrogen supply chain. Besides, it outlines recommendations such as investing in regional capabilities, encouraging onshoring by overseas manufacturers, and securing annual infrastructure investment.

Furthermore, Ms. Taylor highlights the urgency of initiatives like the NERA-initiated hydrogen technology cluster network, comprising 17 hydrogen clusters. These clusters are pivotal in connecting emerging regional hydrogen industries. They foster HETS sector development, coordinate supply chains, and facilitate entry points for local businesses into the hydrogen sector.

What’s more, in July, NERA will pass the torch to the Australian Hydrogen Council (AHC) as its leadership concludes. This transition aims to maintain momentum. It will support the HETS sector’s growth and connect emerging supply chains with major corporations at the forefront of hydrogen innovation.

Finally, Fiona Simon, CEO of AHC, stresses the significance of hydrogen clusters. They are vital to nurturing local technology supply chains and maximizing Australia’s vast hydrogen opportunity. The report emphasizes hydrogen’s economic, social, and ecological potential. It also emphasizes the need to plan for industry development on the ground, supporting local capabilities, particularly in regional communities. Ms. Simon expresses anticipation in continuing NERA’s work, bringing together technology, skills, and industries essential for hydrogen to realize its full potential.

Powering Up: Seizing Australia’s Hydrogen Opportunity by 2040 Report

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