CSIRO, Fortescue want to bring down cost of hydrogen production to under A$2

Hydrogen membrane. (Image by John Nguyen, courtesy of CSIRO).

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO launched a new Hydrogen Industry Mission aimed at driving down the cost of hydrogen production to under A$2 per kilogram, making the fuel more affordable.

According to CSIRO, connected to the main objective is the goal of turning Australia into a world leader when it comes to exporting hydrogen by 2030.

Hydrogen, when mixed with oxygen, can be used as an emissions-free fuel source to generate electricity, power or heat. But it is expensive to turn into fuel.

In a press release, the agency said the initiative is backed by a number of partners including Fortescue Metals, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Swinburne University, the Victorian Government, the Future Fuels CRC, the National Energy Resources Australia, and the Australian Hydrogen Council, along with collaborators Toyota and Hyundai. Projects carried out together with these partners add up to A$68 million.

Graph courtesy of CSIRO.

“Australia can become a renewable energy leader through the production, use and export of hydrogen, but it will only become a reality if we break the $2/kg barrier,” CSIRO’s CEO, Larry Marshall, said in the media brief. “That needs Australia’s world-class science working with CSIRO’s commercialization expertise turning breakthrough science into real-world solutions.”

Marshall explained that the Mission will focus on delivering key programs of work which include the creation of the Hydrogen Knowledge Centre aimed at capturing and promoting hydrogen projects and industry developments across Australia, and the enabling of science and technology through investment in breakthrough science, which includes a A$20-million partnership with Fortescue which focuses on the development and commercialization of new hydrogen technologies.

Other work areas will concentrate on the advancement of feasibility and strategy studies to deliver trusted advice to government, industry and the community, and which would build on recent hydrogen cost modelling and barrier analysis provided as part of developing the National Hydrogen Strategy; and the development of demonstration projects that validate hydrogen value chains and de-risk enabling technologies. 

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