The Victorian and New South Wales Governments are investing $10 million each in grant funding to co-deliver the Hume Hydrogen Highway (HHH) program, an Australian-first renewable hydrogen refuelling network that promises to kickstart the high-potential hydrogen-for-transport sector.
The joint grant program will support the design and delivery of the HHH between Melbourne and Sydney – Australia’s busiest freight corridor. The project will capitalise on renewable hydrogen’s potential, including creating long-term jobs and supporting the state’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The HHH grant program will support the development of at least four refuelling stations along the Hume highway and will support approximately 25 hydrogen-powered long-haul heavy freight vehicles to adopt zero-emission technology, such as fuel cells. FCEVs hold potential advantages for Victoria’s freight sector over existing zero-emissions alternatives, including faster refuelling times, increased payload, and greater range.
Renewable hydrogen shows strong potential to be cost competitive with diesel – which currently powers most of Victoria’s freight industry. Longer term, this alternative could lead to cheaper fuel prices and fewer price shocks for our freight industry.
The HHH will have a transformative effect on Victoria’s broader hydrogen-for-transport sector – unlocking a new market with large scaling potential and positioning Victoria as a destination of choice for renewable hydrogen projects. Applications are expected to open around mid-2022.
Further details about the initiative will be provided on this website in the coming months. If you have any queries about the hydrogen refuelling network, please email the hydrogen team at [email protected]
In addition, the Victorian and NSW Governments have signed a separate Memorandum of Understanding with Queensland to collaborate and share knowledge on the learnings from the HHH. This tripartite MOU will form the basis for collaboration on the future development of an interconnected east coast renewable hydrogen refuelling networking, focusing on key freight routes linking the states.
Reducing emissions and creating jobs
One of the biggest (and growing) sources of greenhouse gas emissions is the transport sector – in fact, it accounts for 25% of Victoria’s total carbon emissions.
Switching to renewable hydrogen can provide opportunities to achieve significant reductions in these emissions, while also reducing the amount of air pollution, making our cities and towns more liveable.
The HHH will also create jobs and investment in regional Victoria, particularly the Hume region, with the grant program having high local content requirements. Investing in regional hydrogen infrastructure will encourage local hydrogen economies and hubs, bring skills and jobs and prepare industry for investment in the long-term.
The HHH, is part of the Victorian Government’s clean energy transition and will help support Victoria’s long-term target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Victorian Government’s support for this project signifies our State’s position as a renewable hydrogen leader and supports the Government’s objectives outlined in the 2021 Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan.
The Plan sets out a blueprint for how the Victorian Government supports the growth of this emerging high potential sector – creating the foundations, connecting the economy and leading the way. The project will also complement the suite of initiatives announced through Victoria’s 2021 Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Roadmap, which aims to position Victoria as a leader of ZEVs in Australia and take advantage of ZEV technologies, including FCEVs.