24 March New developments in the hydrogen industry March 24, 2021 By Sally Parker General, Industry, Resources and Energy, Technology LegislativeReform, HydrogenIndustry, Renewables 0 We can expect significant legislative reform for the hydrogen industry in the near future. This follows a review of all Australian laws (both Federal and State) in 2019 that found there were approximately 730 pieces of legislation and 119 standards related to the industry and recent developments that are seeking to develop the industry further. National Energy Resources Australia recently announced the establishment of 13 regional hydrogen clusters with an investment of $1.85 million. These would establish a globally recognised brand for Australian hydrogen technology and help the development, deployment and commercialisation of new hydrogen-focused technologies. It is anticipated that the national clusters will also facilitate uniform legislative reform. This initiative was instigated by the National Hydrogen Strategy released in 2019. The hubs are designed to increase competitiveness and generate demand for Australian hydrogen both in Australia and overseas. A key regulatory issue that they will need to address, particularly for export markets, is a certification and guarantee of origin scheme. This will be used to identify the potential environmental impacts of each unit of hydrogen by understanding how it was produced. The Australian Government has already proposed an international certification system to track production technology, direct and indirect carbon emissions. While initial consultations have already been undertaken, further is expected to clarify specific aspects of the proposed scheme. There have also been developments in Victoria, with the Government announcing its Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan (the Plan) in February. Renewable hydrogen is attractive for both its minimal environmental impact and productive uses as an alternative fuel source. The Plan seeks to establish a new renewable hydrogen sector and lays the foundation for the development of the industry. It does this by laying out how Victoria will: ● Create clear foundations for the sector; ● Leverage scale and create economic links; and ● Set policies and support programs to attract investment in renewable hydrogen projects. The Plan includes establishing a $10 million hydrogen hub in Melbourne to support education and research and development. The Plan also preempts two major grant programs that will open later in the year. The Expanded Victorian Hydrogen Program will enable renewable hydrogen pilots, trials and demonstrations, while the Hydrogen for Industrial Users Program will support businesses to start using renewable hydrogen. The key outcomes for the Victorian Government from the Plan include: ● Creating long-term job growth; ● Accelerating innovation through research and development; ● Creating safety standards and regulations; ● Enable the export of renewable energy; ● Optimise land use and infrastructure development; ● Leverage hydrogen to support other energy sectors including electricity and gas; ● Drive innovation; ● Build skills, capacity and educational opportunities; and ● Reduce greenhouse gas emissions These initiatives will not only support future legislative reform, but also position Australian as a leader in renewable hydrogen, both domestically and in export markets. Related Articles Why hydrogen is becoming an important energy source Hydrogen as an energy source continues to grow in popularity. Once confined to industrial processes such as refining crude oil, it is now being recognised as a potential solution to the problems of electricity generation, transportation and storage. Over the next thirty years, global energy demand is predicted to grow by at least 30-40%. At the same time, the share of energy generated from fossil fuels has stayed almost static at 81%. While renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind are getting cheaper, they can only be generated on an intermittent basis. To make them commercially practical to use, they must be combined with high-energy batteries and backed with other energy sources. Energy industry and government response to COVID-19 In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, government and industry have come together to ensure the community, economy and industry are supported. The Council of Australian Governments Energy Council (COAG Energy Council) has formed the Energy Coordination Mechanism (ECM) which is expected to have a complete plan by the end of April. The immediate focus of these efforts has been on four areas Climate change action is being driven by business and industry While everyone’s focus in recent months has been on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change was top of everyone’s mind when the year began with bushfires ravaging Australia. The pandemic has seen individuals and organisations assess their ideologies and perspectives on a range of topics, climate change being one of them. It now seems that climate change is back on everyone’s agenda and none more so than business and industry. What is concerning mining and metals industry executives today? Recent surveys conducted in the mining and metals industry sector indicate that climate change, price volatility and the risk of a global depression are the top concerns for executives. The KMPG Mining Risk Forecast 2020/21 Report nominates climate change and price risks as top-of-mind for executives while a mid-year survey by White & Case found that the fear of a global recession was the most common concern amongst those surveyed. It’s worth noting that the KMPG survey was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the concerns raised have ongoing relevance both now and into the future. Amendments to Native Title Act give industry stability Recent amendments to both the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act) are intended to better resolve Native Title claims and provide stability for industry. The Native Title Legislation Amendment Act 2020 addresses the problems caused by the McGlade decision as they relate to ‘right to negotiate’ agreements or section 31 agreements. The impact of coronavirus on the energy and resources industry The last few weeks have seen the world face an unprecedented disruption with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). First reported in China, we’re now seeing many countries shutting down for periods of time to try to contain the spread of the virus. Australia is facing a particularly difficult year given the bushfires that ravaged the country recently. Now with COVID-19 adding to the pain, the energy and resources industry is being impacted in several ways outlined below. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.