ARENA opens funding round for renewable hydrogen and other energy news

Hydrogen-powered train in Germany. Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

The Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) launched its $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round on Wednesday to accelerate renewable hydrogen development in Australia.

The funding round is aimed to finance two or more large scale, renewable powered hydrogen projects with a minimum 5 MW capacity electrolyser, expected to be some of the world’s largest electrolysers. ARENA is accepting expressions of interest with shortlisted projects advancing to full applications later in the year.

Liquified hydrogen or hydrogen carriers such as ammonia provide a potential opportunity for Australia to export renewable energy that is emissions free and offers a sustainable alternative to the nation’s current fuel exports.

“Australia is well placed to become a major renewable hydrogen producer and exporter,” ARENA chief executive officer Darren Miller said. “We are blessed with some of the world’s best wind and solar resources, a large sparsely populated landmass, and as a major energy and resources exporter, we are already an experienced and trusted trading partner for countries like Japan and South Korea that will be the future hydrogen importers.”

Expressions of interest are open until 26 May at 5:00 pm AEST — apply here.

In other energy news, Renewable Energy Hub has signed a unique two-year “super peak” electricity contract with Snowy Hydro.

The new type of transaction is a first for the company, and will supply energy during the high-priced morning and evening shoulder periods, when household demand is high but rooftop solar production is low. It involves Snowy Hydro selling a 25MW contract in calendar 2021 and 2022.

“This new hedge contract enables market participants to manage the risk of very high prices during these periods,” Renewable Energy Hub’s head of markets Chris Halliwell said.

“Importantly, it also gives renewable energy generators like Snowy Hydro access to new markets, and encourages new forms of supply into the grid to improve energy security”

The Renewable Energy Hub puts together renewable contracts for businesses and other players in the wholesale market.

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