A comprehensive evidence based report to understand barriers to industry development and scale-up of the hydrogen industry in WA.

The challenge

In 2018, the Western Australia (WA) Government established the WA Renewable Hydrogen Council, bringing together industry, Government, research and regulatory leaders to provide strategic recommendations to the Government on the growth of a renewable hydrogen industry in WA.

Due to the depth of industry, economic and technical knowledge demonstrated through CSIRO’s recent National Hydrogen Roadmap, the Government commissioned CSIRO Futures to inform the development of this new industry strategy.

Our approach

CSIRO Futures combined a consultative approach with economic analysis to map out the current hydrogen landscape, identify barriers to the development and scale-up of a local hydrogen industry and understand investment decision considerations for demonstration projects.

The team undertook comprehensive industry consultations to explore the current state of the hydrogen industry; and the technical, economic, regulatory, social and environmental challenges involved in the production, use and export of renewable hydrogen.

The assessment was supported by economic analysis and techno-economic modelling, which together with the Council and industry consultations, helped to identify four strategic focus areas for investment in Western Australia: hydrogen export and the use of hydrogen in remote applications, the gas network and in transport.

The modelling used example demonstration projects to understand capital costs and operating costs for projects of various scales. While each project was different, the analysis highlighted a range of considerations including influential cost factors; levelised cost of energy; and where possible, downstream operating and project costs. The analysis and assumptions used were reviewed and tested with stakeholders; and incorporated into the final Strategy.

The results

The project provided a comprehensive evidence base to understand barriers to industry development and scale-up, actions that the Government could take, and the scale of investment required for different opportunities. The analysis was incorporated into the Renewable Hydrogen Strategy, which was presented to the WA Cabinet by the WA Renewable Hydrogen Council.

As a result of this project, the WA Government decided to invest $10 million towards the development of this industry.

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