Australia launches $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program

The Australian Renewable Agency (ARENA), on behalf of the Australian government, has opened applications for the $2 billion program that aims to catalyze the country’s hydrogen industry.

Illustration; Pixabay

Following consultation with a broad range of key stakeholders, which involved 114 written submissions and three public forums with over 400 participants, the Hydrogen Headstart program was designed by ARENA and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) and announced in the 2023-24 budget.

The program builds on ARENA’s commitment of over $308 million to 46 renewable hydrogen projects since 2017.

The opening of the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage was announced on October 10, 2023.

As explained, projects seeking to produce renewable hydrogen or derivatives at scale can apply for a production credit delivered over ten years to bridge the gap between the cost of producing renewable hydrogen and the market price.

Expressions of Interest are open until November 10, 2023.

According to ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, the Hydrogen Headstart represents a step change in Australia’s renewable hydrogen efforts.

“ARENA has been there at every step of Australia’s hydrogen journey, and we’re thrilled to be delivering this transformative program. With Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources, we’re well placed to be a global leader in the renewable hydrogen industry.

“As other countries step up their ambitions, Australia is meeting the challenge and providing the investment we need to stay competitive in the global hydrogen race. This is the Australian Government’s largest investment in renewable hydrogen to date and a critical step in unlocking Australia’s renewable energy superpower,” Miller said.

Click here to read more about hydrogen projects in Australia.