The Australian state of Queensland is looking to boost its hydrogen credentials with the establishment of two new hydrogen technology clusters.
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National Energy Resources Australia (Nera) revealed Wednesday the clusters had been established in Gladstone and Toowoomba following a A$100,000 (US$77,707) commitment from the Queensland government to establish the clusters through a partnership with Nera.
Queensland’s Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni confirmed the state would provide A$50,000 in funding each to the Central Queensland Hydrogen Ecosystem Cluster (CQH2) and Toowoomba & Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) Hydrogen Industry Cluster to progress their strategies.
The clusters will focus separately on a number of initiatives including supply chain activation, green hydrogen, research, technology development, global opportunities, community social licence, agricultural applications, as well as education, skills and capability.
“Backing clusters in Gladstone and Toowoomba will drive the development of Queensland’s hydrogen supply chain in a way that delivers jobs for regional Queenslanders in areas like components and materials manufacturing for this new technology,” de Brenni said.
“With our Hydrogen Industry Strategy and the support of Nera, the conversation has very much shifted from ‘if’ to ‘when’ commercially viable domestic and export-scale renewable hydrogen becomes a reality here in Queensland.”
The two new clusters will join the already established H2Q cluster in Brisbane, which was one of 13 hydrogen technology clusters Nera unveiled earlier this year as part of the national Hydrogen Technology Cluster Australia (H2TCA) network.
“Today is yet another step along the road and a further indication of Australia’s capability in developing hydrogen technologies,” Nera chief executive Miranda Taylor said Wednesday.
“These two new Queensland clusters will be able to work together with the existing H2Q cluster in Brisbane, as well as the other regional clusters in H2TCA, to ensure long-term local cohesion and sustainable capability across the emerging hydrogen value chain. Australia wants to be exporting more than just molecules.”
The H2TCA clusters operate as a virtual network, with the aim of helping aid the development of Australia’s hydrogen supply chain, reduce overlaps and identify gaps in the development, deployment, and commercialisation of new hydrogen focused technologies.
According to a 2019 Deloitte report, with the right policy settings, demand signals and a supply chain ready to respond, the hydrogen economy could increase Australian gross domestic product by between A$11 billion to A$26 billion on a net present value basis and add between 7600 and 16,900 jobs by 2050.