The new clusters will operate under the Hydrogen Technology Cluster Australia (H2TCA) program, an initiative of independent National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), which is funded by the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centre initiative.
The hydrogen clusters, in Townsville in north Queensland and in the Gascoyne and Midwest regions of Western Australia, aim to bring together local players to build the regions’ skills and advance commercialisation opportunities.
These new clusters support the Morrison Government’s investment of more than $1.2 billion to accelerate the development of an Australian hydrogen industry.
The new hydrogen clusters have been jointly announced by the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, the Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price and the Member for Herbert Phil Thompson.
Minister Taylor said the Morrison Government’s ambition is to produce affordable clean hydrogen for use both in Australia and to export to our trading partners, and regional Australia is critical to this.
“These new clusters are great for the people of Townsville, Gascoyne and the Midwest regions as they will help accelerate hydrogen industry development by enabling vital connection, collaboration, and alignment of action across Australia,” Minister Taylor said.
“Encouraging innovation, and building capabilities, particularly in regional Australia, will help make Australian hydrogen supply chains the most attractive in the world.”
Minister Price said the presence of two hydrogen clusters in the heart of her electorate presented significant opportunities for investment and jobs.
“People in the Gascoyne and Midwest regions of Western Australia will now have important roles to play in our Government’s push to fast-track the development of a clean hydrogen industry,” Minister Price said.
“I know my constituents in regional WA will embrace the opportunity to be at the forefront of this important industry for Australia.”
Phil Thompson said he’d been working closely with the NQH2 consortium in Townville to reach this milestone.
“Today’s announcement that Townsville is now officially a hydrogen cluster is excellent news for our city,” Thompson said.
“We’ve already got hydrogen projects on the go, but this step really puts us on the national map as a region that is prioritising the industry and will help unlock opportunities for even more major investment into the future.”
According to the Government and industry, clean hydrogen could directly support 16,000 jobs by 2050, plus an additional 13,000 jobs from the construction of related renewable energy infrastructure - and Australian hydrogen production for export and domestic use could also generate more than $50 billion in additional GDP by 2050.
National Energy Resource Australia (NERA) CEO Miranda Taylor said today’s announcement shows the importance Australia places on the potential for hydrogen energy.
“Today’s announcement is a crucial step for Australia in building the skills, capacities, technologies and commercialisation opportunities necessary to unlock Australia’s enormous potential to create a globally competitive hydrogen industry that could create thousands of jobs across regional Australia,” Miranda Taylor said.
NERA’s Hydrogen Technology Cluster Australia establishes a global identity and a recognised brand for Australian hydrogen technology and expertise.
The three new clusters will join an existing network of 15 regional hydrogen technology clusters across Australia to aid the development of the hydrogen supply chain.