Australia is accelerating its progress towards establishing a competitive hydrogen industry, with an aim to position the nation as a major global player by 2030.

Hydrogen has the potential to enhance Australia’s energy security, creating new export markets and reducing carbon emissions both domestically and around the world. To realise this potential and make the most of their competitive advantage, significant and targeted supply chain investment is required.

Planning for a hydrogen-enhanced future

Arup, in collaboration with Frontier Economics and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is leading Australia’s first National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment (NHIA), an early action in Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy.

Our role is to help identify the greatest net benefit by assessing Australia’s enabling infrastructure and determining the existing gaps and potential opportunities in the supply chain. 

We have designed the assessment in five discrete stages: industry needs and analysis, demand forecast modelling, stakeholder engagement, techno-economic assessment, and multi-criteria assessment. The assessment’s findings and recommendations will be presented to the Commonwealth,  States, and Territory governments.

Realising Australia’s hydrogen potential

The assessment takes a national approach to mapping and understanding Australia’s existing and planned enabling infrastructure, investigating every aspect of the supply chain from the generation of hydrogen through to its manufacture, storage, transportation, and end use. 

With no established industry from which to predict future growth, four potential emerging markets have been identified to help forecast demand for hydrogen in the next thirty years. These include hydrogen switching from natural gas and liquid fuel, hydrogen representing new demand, advancement, hydrogen as maritime shipping fuel, and hydrogen export. Three demand scenarios: low, central, and high, spanning eight different sectors are being modelled to investigate and identify ‘no regrets’ investment opportunities. 

We are developing a techno-economic model to assess various supply chain configurations that will meet demand across each scenario. Outputs from the techno-economic assessment will be further analysed using qualitative data considering the key political, economic, social, cultural, technical, legal, and environmental constraints. The result will be an iterative modelling process, helping to ensure robust assessment outcomes to accelerate the growth of Australia’s hydrogen industry.

Considering stakeholder perspectives

The assessment will be informed by the attitudes and perspectives from across industry, government, community, and research stakeholders. These perspectives will provide an understanding of the many visions for hydrogen and will help guide how the assessment and prioritisation approach will reflect market needs.

We have engaged in 20 interactive themed workshops with over 200 industry and government stakeholders to evaluate the approach through the lens of industry players. One-on-one targeted consultations with senior figures provided a deeper dive into stakeholder viewpoints, investigating potential collaborations, preferences on infrastructure investment and the perceived opportunities and barriers to industry growth. We will also launch a digital survey giving stakeholders the opportunity to provide thoughts and views on the proposed assessment approach.

A major global player by 2030

Our work will help shape Australia’s hydrogen industry and position Australia as a global player by 2030. Our detailed assessment will provide investors with a greater certainty on where infrastructure investment should be prioritised to have the greatest impact on development for a hydrogen industry. Ultimately, this work will accelerate Australia’s progress towards a clean, innovative, safe, and competitive hydrogen industry to support to the country’s clean energy transition.