The Hunter’s hydrogen future is a step closer with the launch of the Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap, which outlines an ambitious vision for the region to lead the country’s emerging hydrogen economy.
The Committee for the Hunter released the Roadmap earlier this month – a key initiative for the Hunter Hydrogen Taskforce.
The Roadmap sets out the long term strategic enablers that will accelerate hydrogen development and the new jobs and economic benefits this will bring to the region.
The Hunter region is an energy, research, and innovation powerhouse, with the complimentary infrastructure and industrial expertise to accelerate renewable hydrogen generation, storage, and use.
CEO for Committee for the Hunter, Alice Thompson said the region is already Australia’s energy capital and was strategically positioned with a head start in the global race for hydrogen investment.
“Hydrogen is a long-term commitment for our region, but we need act now to maintain and grow our competitive advantage or risk being left behind,” she said.
“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 Hunter region are working together to realise these opportunities so that our region becomes 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 and the region over the short, medium, and longer terms.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said hydrogen will play a key role in the future economy of the Hunter and Central Coast.
“The Roadmap provides clear direction to kick start the industry in the region, and includes targeted actions for industry, our University and governments to support the strategy,” Alex said.
“This 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 across the region 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 that the Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will provide $1.5 million to support the Port of Newcastle and project partners to conduct a study into the viability of a hydrogen hub at the Port of Newcastle.
Port of Newcastle CEO, Craig Carmody said the Roadmap aligns with the Ports future and will provide many great opportunities for the Hunter region.
“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,” Craig said.
“The Roadmap compliments 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, string industry partnerships, 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.”
The project adds to the region’s hydrogen resume, where hydrogen is already produced in the manufacturing of ammonia.
“The Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap provides the cohesive framework and priorities to strengthen the Hunter hydrogen ecosystem”, NewH2 Cluster manager Clare Skyes said.
“It complements the work of the NewH2 Cluster by providing the long-term vision and pathways that are essential to align hydrogen hubs and technology clusters, bring together key industry players, reduce overlap, and accelerate the growth of new hydrogen-focussed technologies.”
The Committee for the Hunter will lead the coordination of the delivery of the Roadmap, working across governments, sectors and the Greater Hunter Region including through the Hunter Hydrogen Taskforce.
You can download a copy of the Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap here.
The Hunter Hydrogen Roadmap was 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.
IMAGE | Aerial shot of Honeysuckle
The Committee for the Hunter’s mission is to be an independent and inclusive champion for the people of the Hunter and their enterprises, providing effective advocacy and thought leadership to help build a sustainable and prosperous future for the region.
Our work is collaborative, strategic and evidence-based with a focus on building social and economic capacity in the entire region to strengthen the Hunter as a place to live, work, visit and invest.
Bringing together business, government and the community, membership is designed to encourage involvement across the region’s diverse communities, and to ensure everyone has an opportunity to engage and participate.
The Committee comprises more than 40 members including Foundation Patrons: the University of Newcastle, Newcastle Airport, ARTC and Newcastle Master Builders Association.