Australia steps up hydrogen funding ahead of the climate talks

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A worker stands on a wind turbine during a routine inspection at the Infigen Energy wind farm on the hills around Lake George, 50 km north of the Australian capital Canberra May 13, 2013. REUTERS / David Gray

MELBOURNE, Sept. 20 (Reuters) – Australia said Monday it would increase subsidies for hydrogen projects to boost clean energy production as it faces international pressure to set more ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government will allocate an additional A $ 150 million ($ 108 million) and increase grants for feasibility studies and hydrogen project construction in seven instead of five hubs across the country to A $ 464 million.

“We are accelerating the development of our Australian hydrogen industry and our goal is to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world and transform our transportation, energy, resource and manufacturing sectors,” said Morrison in a joint statement with Energy Secretary Angus Taylor.

The announcement came as Morrison traveled to Washington for “quad” talks with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with climate policy on the agenda.

The Conservative government has resisted international pressure to commit to a net-zero carbon target or lower cuts by 2050 than a plan to reduce emissions by 26% to 28% by 2030 ahead of the United Nations climate change summit in November to reduce the level of 2005.

Instead, it has pledged to spend A $ 18 billion over 10 years on a range of technologies that help reduce emissions, such as hydrogen, energy storage, and carbon capture and storage.

The hydrogen project grants amount to A $ 1.2 billion government allocated to invest in hydrogen, including low-cost funding to reduce the cost of hydrogen production to less than A $ 2 per kg.

By comparison, Germany has committed to investing more than 8 billion euros (9 billion US dollars) in large hydrogen projects. Continue reading

Australia’s hydrogen industry said more was needed by the government to help the industry reach commercial scale.

“It is certainly a vote of confidence in the industry and we hope more is to come,” said Fiona Simon, executive director of the Australian Hydrogen Council, in a statement.

($ 1 = 1.3831 Australian dollars)

($ 1 = 0.8538 euros)

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Adaptation by Tom Hogue

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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