• ARENA has confirmed receiving 36 EOIs for its renewable hydrogen deployment funding of AUD 70 million
  • Projects proposed reflect a total value of AUD 3 billion in private sector investments
  • Proposed projects for electrolyzers have a capacity range of 5 MW to around 80 MW
  • Selected projects may also secure CEFC funding under its AUD 300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund

There is huge interest in renewable hydrogen in Australia as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has received as many as 36 expressions of interest (EOI) claiming for a slice of its AUD 70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round the agency launched in April 2019. Projects listed in these applications add up to a total project value of AUD 3 billion ($2.1 billion) for private sector investments.

ARENA says the 36 EOIs from ‘every state and territory’ in the country also include over AUD 1 billion ($699 million) in total grant requests, close to 500 MW of electrolysis capacity with projects ranging between 5 MW to almost 80 MW, and a wide range of demand of end use case applications. All the selected projects need to be powered by renewable electricity either directly or through a contractual arrangement.

“This is an important step for the sector and it looks like we have many companies now ready to start building large scale renewable hydrogen projects across a range of industries and end uses,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller. “The fact that we’ve received expressions of interest for projects totaling over AUD 3 billion in cost and almost 500 MW in size shows that we’re beginning to see companies embrace making hydrogen through renewable means.”

ARENA will now shortlist projects from the 36 and these will then be required to submit full applications. By the end of this year, the government agency hopes to announce winners and award funding.

Projects selected in this funding round may also stand a chance to win further financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) under its AUD 300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund.

In May 2020, oil and gas giant BP’s Australian entity secured AUD 1.71 million from ARENA for its renewable hydrogen project to produce ammonia (see BP Wins ARENA Funding For Renewable Hydrogen).

AUD 19 million funding for 17 microgird project studies

The Australian Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor welcomed the interest shown by companies for the renewable hydrogen funding. He also announced his government’s backing for over AUD 19 million ($13 million) funding for feasibility studies to be conducted into 17 microgrid projects in Round 1 of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.

These projects are proposed to deploy distributed energy of innovative technologies, such as solar and batteries, to reduce their reliance on expensive diesel generation. The feasibility studies will ascertain if establishing microgrids or updating existing off-grid technologies can help regional and remote communities meet their electricity supply needs.