The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has invited an expression of interest (EOI) from government entities and private companies for availing of funds for large-scale green hydrogen projects under the AU$2 billion (~$1.3 billion) Hydrogen Headstart Program.
The program’s objectives are to advance Australia’s hydrogen industry, strengthen clean energy, and integrate into global hydrogen supply chains.
The deadline for submitting expressions is November 14, 2023. They should encompass a project plan, financial model, budget, and agreements with off-takers.
No earnest money deposit is needed for program participation. Eligibility involves demonstrating proficiency in large-scale hydrogen projects and financial stability for projects of this scale.
The program employs a two-stage application process. Successful applicants from the EOI stage will advance, submitting detailed applications for hydrogen production credits (HPCs), which serve as grants over a ten-year period starting in 2027.
ARENA will assess applications based on alignment with objectives, expertise, project details, financial capacity, and potential for knowledge-sharing.
Developers have the freedom to determine their own HPC rate, signifying the margin between projected sales prices and production costs, including a return on capital. This rate will apply over the funding period, which extends for a maximum of 10 years from the project’s commissioning date, subject to a mutually agreed sunset date.
In May, the Australian government, in its budget for 2023-24, allocated AU$2 billion ($1.3 billion) for launching the “Hydrogen Headstart” program, aiming for 1 GW of renewables-powered electrolyzer capacity by 2030, with an initial allocation of $156 million (~$105.5 million) over the next four years.
The capacity of the global clean hydrogen market is expected to expand to 170 million tons (MT) of hydrogen by 2030 and reach 600 MT by 2050, according to Deloitte’s 2023 Global Green Hydrogen Outlook. North Africa and Australia are expected to have the highest export potential, with 44 MT and 16 MT of hydrogen, respectively, surpassing their domestic demand.
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