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Western Australia: Australia's hydrogen powerhouse

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Report

Posted on 12 February, 2021

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The Clean Energy Council's policy recommendations for the 2021 Western Australian election.

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As one of the world’s leading exporters of liquified natural gas (LNG), Western Australia is already a global energy powerhouse. At the start of a new decade, the state can tap into an enormous new opportunity – its world-class solar and wind resources – to become a leading producer of renewable hydrogen that can rival Western Australia’s LNG sector over time.

However, Western Australia must accelerate its efforts now to attract the vast private sector interest in hydrogen, bring down the costs of new renewable energy generation, provide the enabling infrastructure and cultivate the skilled workforce it needs to meet its 2030 ambitions.

The Clean Energy Council is calling on all political parties to adopt the following recommendations to ensure that Western Australia realises its potential as Australia's hydrogen powerhouse.

  • Go hard, go early - Western Australia must continue to invest strongly and early if it is to put itself in pole position to capture trade opportunities as they emerge. The funding gap that many projects currently face in order to be economically viable is substantial, and no project is as yet considered to be financially
    viable without government funding support.
  • Create early demand for renewable hydrogen - The state government has a critical role to play in creating early demand for renewable hydrogen, which will allow a local industry to develop its production capabilities, scale-up the sector and drive down costs.
  • Enabling infrastructure - Strategic planning and public investment in new or upgraded infrastructure – from roads and ports to refuelling networks – will enable Western Australia to become hydrogen-ready, and unlock billions of dollars of private investment in a new Western Australian renewable hydrogen sector.
  • Develop a skilled hydrogen workforce - A world-leading hydrogen industry will require a skilled hydrogen workforce. Training and upskilling tradespeople will take years and planning must begin right away to ensure that a lack of localised skills does not prove a barrier to the growth of the sector.
  • Building Brand WA - Western Australia is competing with every other state in Australia, and many countries abroad, to become the most desirable place in which to build renewable hydrogen production facilities. The state will need to market its credentials as an attractive location in which to manufacture clean, competitively priced hydrogen.