The program dubbed "Hydrogen Headstart" will provide taxpayer funding for large-scale hydrogen power projects via competitive hydrogen production contracts. It will put Canberra on course to build up to a gigawatt of electrolyzer capacity by 2030 through two to three flagship projects. AU$2 billion ($1.32 billion) will be earmarked for Hydrogen Headstart, according to Mirage News.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an electrolyzer is a device that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The resulting hydrogen can then be "combusted for industrial heat, used as a chemical input for green manufacturing, [converted to] fuel for heavy transport, or liquefied and compressed for export to our key trading partners."
Aside from this, AU$38.2 million ($25.29 million) will be earmarked for a scheme of certification for renewable energy projects, alongside the verification and tracking of the emissions from these. An additional AU$2 million ($1.32 million) will go to a fund to support Aboriginal Australians and indigenous-led businesses to engage with hydrogen projects.
Moreover, another AU$5.6 million ($3.71 million) will be allocated to leverage Australia's competitive strengths in the renewable energy industry. This amount will also be used to fund the acquisition of critical minerals and highly skilled laborers to accelerate the country's industrial and manufacturing capabilities.
"After a decade of policy inaction, Hydrogen Headstart contributes to the over $40 billion of investment by the Albanese government to make Australia a renewable energy superpower."
Writing for Watts Up With That (WUWT), Eric Worrall warned that Canberra's Hydrogen Headstart program could lead to more hydrogen fraud.
He pointed out that while Hydrogen Headstart appears promising, concerns have been raised regarding the potential for hydrogen fraud. This, he explained, stems from the difficulty in differentiating hydrogen energy produced from truly "clean and renewable" sources and that produced from fossil fuels.
"Nobody can tell post-production whether the hydrogen came from steam reforming fossil fuel, renewable electrolysis or even nuclear-powered thermochemical processes," Worrall wrote. "Maybe regulators could cast some doubt using isotopic analysis, but there would likely be enough natural variation for plausible deniability."
He warned that without a powerful certification process, fraudulent activities could undermine the credibility and viability of Australia's burgeoning hydrogen energy market. (Related: Climate change is a malicious, dangerous myth.)
"When you think about it, hydrogen fraud makes a lot of financial sense as a criminal money maker," "There is no way green industries can produce affordable hydrogen which can challenge the cost of producing hydrogen from fossil fuel, so you need a certificate to prove your absurdly expensive hydrogen process has the correct green pedigree," Worrall wrote.
He predicted that "nations with high levels of corruption and lax enforcement will become the global leaders in certified green hydrogen production. These same nations, he added, "will get mad and start slinging accusations of racism when anyone demands to inspect their renewable powered hydrogen production plants.
Learn more about hydrogen power at NewEnergyReport.com.
Watch Australian Sen. Malcolm Roberts discuss how Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would rather meet with billionaire Bill Gates than with the country's own people.