IGH Impact Interview:
Western Australia: Realising Hydrogen Potential
IGH Impact Interview: Western Australia: Realising Hydrogen Potential
Western Australia emerges as a trailblazer in the global hydrogen economy, steering the course for the industry's evolution with its groundbreaking Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy unveiled in 2019. Focused on catapulting the nascent renewable hydrogen sector into prominence, the strategy prioritizes green and blue hydrogen initiatives. Notably, the government champions pivotal projects like a $450,000 study in collaboration with ITM Power and Linde Engineering, propelling hydrogen electrolyser manufacturing. In an exclusive IMPACT interview, Mr. David Burrows, Senior Trade and Investment Manager at the Western Australia Government Office (WAGO), delves into the state's visionary pursuit of global hydrogen development, underscoring its pivotal role in shaping the industry's trajectory.
Q: The Western Australian Government has an ambitious vision for global hydrogen development. Could you please share the key points of this vision and the primary objectives in achieving it?
A: In 2019, as a part of the drive for innovation and economic diversification, the Western Australian Government released the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to support industry efforts to grow the emerging renewable hydrogen industry in practical and strategic ways.
Renewable hydrogen is set to play a key role in diversifying and decarbonising the Western Australian economy. The Western Australian government is committed to developing the State’s renewable hydrogen industry to support the nation to become a leading global hydrogen producer and meet its emission reduction targets.
This has also been articulated in the Western Australian government’s economic diversification strategy, Future State: Accelerating Diversify WA, which sets out a targeted, export-focused approach to building a smarter, more sustainable and diversified economy of the future. The production and scaling of renewable hydrogen is specifically identified as a key diversification opportunity to support long-term economic growth.
Q: Hydrogen technology has long been regarded as a crucial component of future sustainable energy. How does the Western Australian Government plan to promote the development of hydrogen technology, particularly in the green and blue hydrogen sectors? Are there any policies and initiatives in place to support this goal?
A: Western Australia is in a unique position to build on the successes of the resource sector with the transfer and interoperability of both skills and technology to support the growth of priority sectors such as renewable hydrogen for strategic development that match Western Australia’s unique strengths with global trends to achieve growth across the economy.
Examples include funding to advance hydrogen electrolyser manufacturing in Western Australia. The Western Australian Government partnered with ITM Power and Linde Engineering in a $450,000 study to develop a business case designed to also assist other electrolyser manufacturing proponents. The business case involved undertaking feasibility studies regarding the potential size, scale and market for electrolyser manufacturing, as well as assembly and maintenance opportunities. As the expansion of hydrogen production continues, the demand for critical equipment such as electrolysers will increase, which presents a new opportunity for local advanced manufacturing industries.
Studies such as these have supported the Western Australian government to better position itself in the supply chain for renewable hydrogen by providing clearly defined opportunities around potential manufacturing capabilities to unlock the opportunity for strategic investment to support growth across the economy.
Q: Western Australia boasts unique advantages and opportunities in the hydrogen sector. How does the state government intend to attract investors and partners to participate in the development of this field? Are there any potential opportunities and collaboration possibilities for both domestic and international companies to invest in hydrogen projects in Western Australia.
A: Western Australia has an interest in attracting investment, jobs, advanced manufacturing capability and technological know-how to Western Australia and we are determined to have a significant stake in the global renewable hydrogen industry.
The Western Australian Government actively supports industry efforts to accelerate the development of the industry to meet its goals, through:
Access to a one-stop-shop for incoming trade and investment enquiries;
Identification and facilitation of access to industrial land;
Project approvals facilitation services to help proponents navigate Western Australia project approvals process efficiently and effectively;
Introductions across the supply chain;
Identification of relevant Western Australian and Australian Government funding opportunities when they become available.
To date the Western Australian government has committed around $180 million to support the development of the renewable hydrogen industry with more than 30 potential hydrogen projects at various stages of development.
The Western Australian government welcomes both domestic and international companies to seek partnerships with us and we are keen to work with companies that wish to invest in the emerging renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia.
Q: What is your expectation to join this year's Investing in Green Hydrogen, and why do you think event like this host significant meaning to the industry development?
A: With the emergence and increased demand of renewable hydrogen, the next few years will be critical for many of the policy and investment decisions that will shape the next 10 – 15 years. It is for this reason that events such as Investing in Green Hydrogen are essential in enabling leading decision makers from industry and government to take action and advance conversations in efforts to harmonise policy standards, share good practice and develop the infrastructure required. Events such as this act as a roadmap for the future, by bringing together governments and industry to work together and seize opportunities for advancement of a critical emerging industry.
Insights Brought to You by:
Senior Trade and Investment Manager
The Western Australia Government Office (WAGO)