Hydrogen is an important new player in Australia’s clean energy transition, which can help fuel a new era of economic prosperity and job creation, meet ongoing domestic energy needs of consumers and industry, and create a lucrative long-term, sustainable export market.
The State of Victoria is perfectly positioned to take advantage of hydrogen and associated technological applications, given its supply of renewable energy sources, existing scalable energy, industry infrastructure, established government policy agenda and skilled workforce. If the commonwealth and state government get the policy settings right, zero-emissions hydrogen technology can boost Victorian and Australian GDP growth, create a new sustainable job market while helping to shift Australia away from its reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal.
An integrated hydrogen sector will directly lead to the creation of thousands of high-skilled, high- tech, well-paid, and secure blue and white-collar jobs in the hydrogen industry. Downstream, it has unmatched potential as a clean energy fuel that can power heavy industry and manufacturing. Victoria could become a leading green steel producer, and Australian capital of hydrogen exports, in terms of actual production and related clean energy products but only with the right investment and regulatory framework. Producing the intellectual property that makes the hydrogen economy tick is an important way Victoria can contribute to and benefit from its development. In turn, given its interconnections with wind and solar, hydrogen is a missing part of renewables jigsaw. Its practical application runs the gamut of clean, green transport, both private or public, and more efficient household energy consumption.
This report outlines practical steps to fostering a large-scale hydrogen industry. Other nations – and other states – are moving quickly. For the sake of our economy, our jobs, and our environment, we do not have time to play catch up. A Victorian hydrogen industry represents a once in a lifetime opportunity if we get the investment and policy settings right, Victoria will play an integral role in shaping Australia’s long-term economic recovery from COVID-19.
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