NSW announces $80 billion green hydrogen plan

Green field at sunrise

The New South Wales government has announced a new green hydrogen plan that will offer $3 billion in incentives and look to attract over $80 billion in investments, as the state continues the push towards more renewable energy and reduced emissions. 

The green hydrogen strategy will further the government’s plan to make NSW a ‘renewable energy superpower’, a goal set out by energy minister Matt Kean and former premier Gladys Berejiklian prior to her resignation. 

As revealed by Kean and new premier Dominic Perrottet, NSW will provide over $3 billion in incentives to investors and developers in the green hydrogen market, which will include a 90% exemption from electricity network charges for producers that connect to parts of the network with spare capacity. 

The NSW plan features exemptions from government charges for green hydrogen production, and a proposed network of hydrogen refuelling stations across the state. While some car manufacturers believe that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be competitive, a lack of refuelling facilities has caused issues in their development.

As part of the plan, the government hopes to see 10,000 hydrogen vehicles on the road by 2030, including 20% of the NSW government’s heavy vehicle fleet.

What is green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is a fuel produced by splitting hydrogen from water by electrolysis, with electricity provided from low-carbon energy sources. 

In Australia, green hydrogen has traditionally cost around twice as much to produce as conventional and blue hydrogen, however it has been forecast to drop up to 70% in price by 2030. 

Green hydrogen has a range of potential uses, replacing high-carbon fuels in the transport, heating and natural gas industries. 

While the fuel is still a rapidly evolving and growing area, a number of governments and countries are working on developing technologies to make use of green hydrogen. Hydrogen heating is forecast for most UK homes by 2050, and aerospace cooperation Airbus are designing hydrogen-powered aircraft. 

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