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The Australian government has strengthened its hydrogen collaboration with Germany, announcing funding for four new joint projects under the German–Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator (HyGATE) initiative.

The initiative strengthens Australian-German collaboration to reduce the cost of green hydrogen production and supports cutting-edge technology in the industry.

Funding of up to A$50-million from Australia and up to €50-million from Germany for HyGATE was made available to new projects to bolster efforts to establish a green hydrogen supply chain through the Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord.

Australian funding for the four HyGATE projects announced include A$20.74-million to Edify Energy to develop, construct and operate the Edify green hydrogen project in partnership with Siemens Energy Global to broaden the Australia–Germany supply chain in Townsville, Queensland.

A further A$19.48-million has been awarded to Vast Solar to work with Fichtner on the development of a methanol production plant using renewable energy. The plant consists of a 10 MW electrolyser producing green hydrogen for solar methanol production in Port Augusta, South Australia.

A$8.98-million will go to Hysata to work with Fraunhofer IPT to develop a new ‘capillary-fed’ electrolyser to deliver low-cost hydrogen in Port Kembla, New South Wales, while A$800 000 will go to ATCO Australia, in partnership with Fraunhofer IST and Fraunhofer IEG, for a feasibility study into deploying an electrolyser and ammonia facility to make advancements in hydrogen technologies and storage in the Illawarra region, New South Wales.

“Collaboration with Germany will help grow Australia’s hydrogen export market and support our nation’s vision of becoming a renewable energy superpower,” said Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen.

“These projects demonstrate Australia’s role as a world leader in renewable energy production, reducing the cost of hydrogen production and paving the way for exports.”

Bowen and German Minister for Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger also released a joint summary report on the German-Australian Hydrogen feasibility study (HySupply) a crucial step in growing a shared hydrogen market and collective clean energy potential.

The report makes it clear that a green hydrogen supply chain between Australia and Germany is both feasible and highly desirable. It also outlines the future actions for Australia and Germany to establish trade in renewable hydrogen between both nations as identified in the HySupply State of Play and Demand and Supply-side Roadmapping reports. 

By 2050, through partnerships like these, Australia’s hydrogen industry could generate A$50-billion in additional gross domestic product and create over 16 000 jobs, as well as an additional 13 000 jobs from the construction of renewable energy infrastructure to power the production of green hydrogen.

Minister Bowen and German Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck have agreed to expand Australia and Germany’s energy cooperation by extending the Australia-Germany Energy Partnership to include climate. This will elevate the partnership and provide an avenue to expand on the countries’ collective energy and climate ambitions.

They also discussed the ambitious H2Global hydrogen trading mechanism initiative which presents an opportunity to further develop a global hydrogen market.

“Our energy and climate cooperation with Australia is of utmost importance and I expressly welcome the Australian government’s increased ambitions to accelerate its energy transition and climate protection,” Habeck said.

“I am pleased that we have decided to extend the Australia-Germany Energy Partnership to include climate, so that we can work more closely together in this area in the future.

“Hydrogen continues to be of particular importance to our cooperation and we want to build on the complementary interests of our countries.”