Australia's fledgling green hydrogen industry has received a $100 million boost for three commercial-scale projects in Victoria and Western Australia.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced the $103.3m funding package on behalf of the federal government.
Green hydrogen (produced using renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen) is seen as a potential zero-emissions fuel for heavy transport and big farm machinery.
However, the government has calculated the price of green hydrogen needs to be around $2 a kilogram to be competitive with alternative fuels.
Engie Renewables Australia will receive $42.5m towards a 10 megawatt electrolyser project to produce renewable hydrogen in a consortium with Yara Pilbara Fertilisers at an ammonia plant in Karratha, WA.
ATCO Australia has gained $28.7m for a 10mMW electrolyser for gas blending at the company's Clean Energy Innovation Park at Warradarge, WA.
And Australian Gas Networks Limited (AGIG) will receive up to $32.1m for a 10mW electrolyser for gas blending at AGIG's Murray Valley Hydrogen Park in Wodonga, Victoria.
At 10mW, ARENA said the electrolysers in these hydrogen plants would be among the largest built so far in the world.
Engie will use renewable hydrogen to produce ammonia at the Yara Pilbara Fertilisers site while ATCO and AGIG's projects will use renewable energy to produce green hydrogen for gas blending into existing natural gas pipelines.
Engie, ATCO and AGIG must now satisfy a number of development and finance conditions and before the funding is released.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said renewable hydrogen presented an opportunity to reduce emissions globally and locally, transform Australia's energy system and create a new export industry for Australia.
"We're excited to have chosen three projects we believe will help kickstart renewable hydrogen production in Australia at a large scale," he said.
"Our hydrogen industry in Australia is in its infancy, so the lessons learned from these three projects - and the entire funding round - will be important in driving our future hydrogen economy."
Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the funding would speed up projects to provide new economic and employment growth in regional Australia.
He said the federal government was committed to building a clean and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.
The projects were expected to create more than 210 jobs during construction with the National Hydrogen Strategy forecasting a local hydrogen industry could generate about 8000 jobs and $11 billion a year by 2050.
By driving down the costs associated with producing hydrogen, industry will be closer to achieving the Government's goal of getting the cost of hydrogen under $2 per kilogram.
Hydrogen at or under $2 per kilogram is the point where it becomes competitive with alternatives in large-scale deployment across our energy systems.
The story Green light given for three big renewable hydrogen plants first appeared on Farm Online.