Alongside the 2030 target, set against 2005 levels, Australia will aim to be net zero by 2050.
The bill will see annual statements in relation to targets, embed the targets in the objectives and functions of relevant Commonwealth agencies, and empower the Climate Change Authority to provide advice to the Minister in relation to future targets. Legislation would be reviewed every five years.
A note in the amended bill clarifies that the 43% target “acts as a floor, rather than a ceiling”.
Australian electrolyser manufacturer Hysata has come to prominence this past year with its electrolysis funded by the CEFC, Bluescope, Vestas and the IP Group.
CEO Paul Barrett welcomed the Australian Government’s move to enshrine a 43% emission reductions target into law.
He said, “Achieving this target will require action across the economy. Green hydrogen has a critical role to play in applications like heavy transport, ammonia production, steelmaking and high temperature heat. Building Australia’s domestic hydrogen sector will also help put us on the path to the major prize – hydrogen exports.
“Hysata looks forward to working with government and industry to translate this target into action and help develop the emerging Australian green hydrogen sector.”
Australia believes it has significant competitive advantages for developing a substantial hydrogen export industry, given its abundant resources, track record in building large-scale energy industries, and proximity to, and experience dealing with, Asian markets.
Geoscience Australia estimates about 11% of Australia (872,000sq km) could be suitable for renewable hydrogen production.
The challenge for the country is how to balance hydrogen’s demands with other water priorities. In many areas there will be limited capacity given existing demand from agriculture, industry, mining and households.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is another area with strong potential.
The best opportunities are in the Carnarvon Basin; off-shore Western Australia (the site of one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects on Barrow Island); in the Gippsland Basin, in offshore Victoria (site of the CarbonNet project); and onshore regions near the Cooper Basin (Queensland and South Australia), and Surat Basin (Queensland).
The Northern Territory Government is also in active discussions with national and international companies to develop industrial renewable hydrogen projects in the Northern Territory.