The Hydrogen Stream: Australia to invest $1.35 billion in hydrogen

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Australia announced a budget of AUD 4 billion for the renewable energy sector, with half of the investment to target hydrogen. “Hydrogen Headstart will bridge the commercial gap for early‑stage projects, and position Australia to be a world leading hydrogen producer and exporter,” said the Australian government in its Budget 2023-24 report. Hydrogen Headstart will provide a credit per kilogram on the production price, mostly for large-scale projects. The executive body is also providing AUD 38.2 million to establish a Guarantee of Origin scheme to underpin markets for green energy, including hydrogen. “This is a substantial downpayment on Australia's response to the US Inflation Reduction Act, ensuring Australia remains in the race to become a global clean energy superpower,” said Australia's Clean Energy Council. The country also wants to expand onshore and offshore wind and solar production.

Iveco Group and Nikola Corp. have agreed to split their operations in Europe and North America, respectively. Italy-based Iveco Group will assume full ownership of the joint venture in Ulm, Germany. The transport vehicle manufacturer said the venture will be licensed to freely access and develop vehicle control software for jointly developed battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). Nikola will secure the IVECO S-Way technology license for North America and related components supplies from Iveco Group, and will take ownership of the intellectual property for Generation 1 eAxles. Iveco Group will acquire the items partly in cash and partly in 20 million of Nikola shares.

HRS and Gaia Future Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide global green hydrogen distribution solutions for mobility, combining the green hydrogen produced by Gaia Future Energy in Morocco and the hydrogen refueling station manufactured by HRS. The two companies will also collaborate to accelerate the development of green hydrogen infrastructure, particularly in European markets.

Austria, Germany, and Italy have signed a joint letter of political support to develop a “southern hydrogen corridor” in the European Union, with the respective infrastructure projects to obtain Project of Common Interest (PCI) status. “Snam Italy's gas infrastructure operator, Trans Austria Gasleitung (TAG) and Gas Connect Austria (GCA) in Austria and Bayernets in Germany welcome this political support,” said Snam. The SoutH2 southern hydrogen corridor would be a 3 300-km dedicated hydrogen-ready pipeline corridor connecting North Africa, Italy, Austria, and Germany. It could purportedly deliver 40% of the REPowerEU import target. According to the German government, it will have to import 70% of its own green hydrogen needs.

ABB, Lhyfe, and Skyborn have also agreed to collaborate on SoutH2Port. The hydrogen project will be located near Skyborns' 1 GW Storgrundet offshore wind farm in Söderhamn, Sweden. “Fully operational, SoutH2port is expected to produce about 240 tons of hydrogen per day, with an installed capacity of 600 MW, making it one of the largest suppliers of renewable hydrogen in Europe,” said Lhyfe. ABB will optimize hydrogen and electricity production integration across the entire ecosystem. The new plant will support the decarbonization of the Swedish energy system, either directly with hydrogen supplies or through further downstream production of refined fuels such as methanol, sustainable aviation fuel, or ammonia.

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