While votes are still being counted, it remains unclear whether Labour, who made strong climate promises, will be able to form a majority, the party’s leader Anthony Albanese was sworn in as Prime Minister on Monday (May 23).

Another surprise came as the Australian Greens Party and numerous other climate advocating Independents snatched seats from the incumbent Scott Morrison Government.

Depending on the exact number of seats in the House of Representatives and Senate won by the parties, the Greens and Independents could hold the power in parliament

Where do Labour and the Greens stand on hydrogen?

The Scott Morrison coalition has come under fire in recent years for not acting on climate calls to phase out the country’s use of coal. Australia remains one of the biggest global suppliers of fossil fuels, and still burns coal for the majority of its electricity.

Following the COP26 summit last year, Australia set the target of cutting its emission by 26% of 2005 levels, half of the US and UK benchmarks. However, both Labour and the Greens pledges in their manifestos to dramatically increase this target to 43% and 75%, respectively.

The Labour manifesto has promised a A$3bn ($2.1bn) investment in hydrogen electrolyser and fuel switching, green metals, clean energy component manufacturing, and agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction.

While the Greens laid out plans to phase out gas exports and retrofit existing gas terminals for hydrogen and ammonia exports, they want to use existing liquid natural gas (LNG) export hubs in Gladstone, Darwin and the Pibara as a base to build further hydrogen export hubs with a A$4.5bn ($3.2bn) Green Hydrogen Australia Fund.

Could Australia make a transition to hydrogen?

In November 2019, Australia released its National Hydrogen Strategy, setting out a vision to utilise the country’s resources and expertise to take advantage of the increasing global momentum for clean hydrogen.

Read more:  In focus: Australia’s hydrogen strategy

Since that announcement, we have seen a significant upscaling of projects across the country. Most recently New South Wales announced that the state would be trialling hydrogen-powered buses with intent to roll them out state-wide should the pilot be successful.

Read more: NSW to trial hydrogen-powered buses later this year

More significantly, the Queensland Government announced on May 11, it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Port of Rotterdam to develop green hydrogen export supply chains.

Read more: Hydrogen exports between Australia and Europe could be given a boost under new agreement

Given the nation’s developments in hydrogen projects and policy, now falling into the hands of a government, in whatever form that might take following the conclusion of vote counting, combined with hydrogen establishing itself as the future energy source in a cleaner world, it would seem as if Australia were on the verge of making the leap.

With the correct use of the country’s solar and wind suitability, green hydrogen production could be scaled dramatically to be used in its existing gas infrastructure, to meet global calls to cut the cord of coal.

North American Hydrogen Summit

H2 View is taking its events platform to America’s original clean hydrogen hub of California. Together with the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), we will stage our North American Hydrogen Summit in San Francisco on July 14-15.

As our summit theme Building Bridges: Hydrogen hubs and investment suggests, the event will explore the $8bn of funding announced to create at least four regional hydrogen hubs in the US. These hubs will turbo-charge the nation’s progress toward heavy trucking and industrial sectors that run without producing carbon pollution – and they may just provide the path forward to a hydrogen-fuelled future.

With California and Texas vying to be America’s hydrogen capital today, where are the hubs of tomorrow? Further still, what can other states, and countries, learn from California’s success story? And how can we build bridges to a successful flow of international investment?

Our early bird offer tickets are $1,000, for a limited time only. If you are a member of the CaFCP, be sure to grab your ticket at a discounted rate with a code that can be provided to you by the events team.

Full information about this event including attendance and sponsorship packages can be found here.