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Hydrogen Roadmap provides long-term plan in the Hunter

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The region’s hydrogen future is a step closer following the unveiling of the Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap.

Developed by the Hunter Hydrogen Taskforce with key partners including H2 NOW, Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources, Ironbark, CSIRO, HunterNet, Dantia, Grattan Institute and Ampcontrol, it sets out the long-term strategic enablers that will accelerate development, new jobs and economic benefits.

The Hunter is an energy, research and innovation powerhouse, with the complimentary infrastructure and industrial expertise to accelerate renewable hydrogen generation, storage and use.

Committee for the Hunter CEO Alice Thompson said the region was already Australia’s energy capital.

“Hydrogen is a long-term commitment [for our region], but we must act now to maintain and grow our competitive advantage or risk being left behind,” she explained.

“We know that the development of a Hunter hydrogen industry will need more than projects and technology.

“It requires brokering between suppliers and users, workforce development, regulatory reform, new standards, safety training, complementary policy and programs, community support, investment concierge and promotion.

“The stakeholders of the region are working together to realise these opportunities, so we can become the location of choice for hydrogen investment, growth and innovation.”

The Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap provides a pathway for the Hunter to establish a thriving domestic and export hydrogen industry, identifying targeted actions and investments across sectors over the short, medium and longer terms.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said hydrogen would play a key role in the future economy of the Hunter and Central Coast.

“The roadmap offers clear direction to kick-start the industry in the region, and includes targeted actions for industry, our uni and governments to support the strategy,” he stated.

“The announcement sets a high-level of ambition and our region’s course to becoming a hub of hydrogen and innovation, which is very exciting.

“It makes me very proud that our university has been able to play a leading role in the development of the roadmap through the taskforce.

“We are absolutely committed to working with Committee for the Hunter and our partners to realise this incredible opportunity for the Hunter and become leaders in Australia’s hydrogen future.”

The roadmap recommends small to mid-scale demonstration projects and feasibility studies to inform the development of commercial scale projects as near-term priorities.

The release of the Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap comes days after the announcement the federal government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will provide $1.5 million to conduct a study into the viability of a hydrogen hub at the Port of Newcastle.

“The Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap shows strong strategic alignment with the Port’s commitment to renewable energy production, storage and plans to diversify our export trade for the future,” CEO Craig Carmody said.

“It complements the work we have underway to establish the Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub, with is supported by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, partly-funded by ARENA and backed by key regional and international partners, including the University of Newcastle.

“The Port of Newcastle and the Hunter are already a world-leading energy port and export region.

“We have unrivalled access to global energy markets and supply chains, world-class infrastructure, strong industry partnerships, proximity to the existing demand, links to domestic road and rail networks, a local highly-skilled workforce and proximity to renewable energy zones.

“This roadmap and the Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub will help secure and grow jobs and businesses for the Hunter region for generations to come.”

Visit www.hunter.org.au/what-we-do/hunter-hydrogen-roadmap/ to download a copy of The Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap. 

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