The Future of Hydrogen in Tasmania

The Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan was published early in 2020, outlining how the state will support the development of the sector, to capitalise on the relatively low cost of production of renewable hydrogen in Tasmania – 10 to 15 per cent lower than from other Australian power grids and 20 to 30 per cent lower than from dedicated off-grid variable renewables.

Tasmania’s very low emission electricity means “green hydrogen” can be produced in Tasmania without incurring significant additional costs to build dedicated renewable energy generation infrastructure, or to purchase renewable energy credits or carbon offsets. A hydrogen generation plant consuming 10GWh per year from Tasmania’s electricity grid would generate over 10,000 less tonnes of CO2-e per year than if it were to use grid electricity in Victoria.

The Plan outlines the following actions to be taken:

  • Industrial precincts in Tasmania, in particular the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone and in the north west coast region, will be promoted as prime hydrogen hub locations.
  • Deliver $50 million package of renewable hydrogen support measures over 10 years through a competitive Expression of Interest (EOI) process, commencing in the second quarter of 2020. The support package will include:
    • a $20 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Fund
    • $20 million in concessional loans
    • $10 million worth of support services including competitive electricity supply arrangements and payroll tax relief
    • assistance for developing offtakes for hydrogen end-use
    • facilitating land and infrastructure access
    • access to discounted professional services

The Plan’s Goals are:

By 2022 to 2024

  • Tasmania has commenced production of renewable hydrogen.
  • Locally produced renewable hydrogen is being used in Tasmania.
  • Export based renewable hydrogen production projects are well advanced.

By 2025 to 2027

  • Tasmania has commenced export of renewable hydrogen

By 2030

  • Tasmania is a significant global producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen
  • Locally produced renewable hydrogen is a significant form of energy used in Tasmania

Expressions of Interest for the funding program closed on the 18th of August 2020, receiving 23 applications for projects and feasibility studies related to renewable hydrogen production, storage, distribution, export and domestic use within Tasmania. These are currently under assessment.

This year’s national $70 million (ARENA) Renewable Hydrogen Development Round attracted 36 expressions of interest. One of the seven shortlisted applications announced in August is based in Tasmania. All shortlisted applicants had well developed projects that involve deploying 10MW or larger electrolysers, made up of various end uses including transport, gas injection, renewable ammonia production, power and industrial use. Applicants must submit their full application by 20 January 2021 and successful applicants will be issued a Funding Agreement in mid-2021.

Tasmanian energy fast facts

  • Tasmania is on track to become 100% self-sufficient in renewables by 2022
  • Tasmania now has a new renewable energy target – 200% of current needs by 2040
  • Tasmania is in the path of the Roaring Forties, winds that blow at consistently high wind speeds and are a fantastic wind resource!