The global energy sector is transforming, and the way we produce, move, store and use energy is changing quickly. Australia and Germany are natural partners leading the way towards the development of hydrogen as a future energy resource.
70 years of Shipping the sunshine
In 2022 Australia and Germany mark 70 years of diplomatic relationship, marking the anniversary with the theme of ‘Shipping the Sunshine’. Celebrations in March saw guests from German and Australian politics and industry come together against the backdrop of an interactive showcase on green hydrogen, discussing and learning about the potential of the next phase of the German Australian Partnership.
Australia's hydrogen potential
Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy outlines the vast potential for Australia to be a world-leading producer of clean hydrogen. Our goal is ‘H2 under 2’ – that is to produce hydrogen at a cost of below A$2/kg.
- is large - Geoscience Australia has identified 873,000 km2 of land suitable for renewable hydrogen production in Australia. That’s 2.5 times the size of Germany.
- has enormous solar capabilities, receiving 58 million petajoules of sunshine annually – that’s about 9,500 times more energy than the country uses
- has good quality wind resources
- an ecosystem of scientists, businesspeople and government with deep skills in renewable energy and developing energy export industries
Solar energy alone in the most prospective regions in Australia covering about 3% of the country's surface area could be enough to produce more than 600mt of green hydrogen annually. That is more than 10 times Germany’s non-electric energy consumption.
Average daily sunlight hours Australia also has strong wind resources
source: Statista, eglitis-media, own calculations source: Global Wind Atlas
Germany’s technological expertise and future demand
For Germany to reach its energy transition goals, experts agree it will require vast amounts of clean and – in the long term – green hydrogen. Estimates of future demand vary, but it is likely to substantially exceed Germany’s green hydrogen production capacity.
Germany's expected demand (beige) vs. production (grey) of green hydrogen
Meanwhile, German companies and research institutes are world-leaders in the development of green hydrogen production, processing and storage technology, on which any future hydrogen industry will depend.
1: Source Fraunhofer Institute, German hydrogen strategy, own calculations.
Australia and Germany join forces on hydrogen: Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord
In June 2021 Australian and German governments announced the Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord – a forward-leaning initiative to deepen our collaboration on climate change action and emissions reduction. The initiative’s ambition is to produce the cheapest green hydrogen in the world, which will transform entire industries, such as transport, mining, resources and manufacturing
Our enhanced collaborative activities focus on technological innovation, research, development and deployment and will lay the groundworks for a global hydrogen industry.
Our Hydrogen Accord underscores both countries’ commitment to the Paris Agreement and highlights the importance of accelerating zero and low emissions technology solutions to achieve cost parity with conventional alternatives as soon as possible. At the same time, it plays to both countries’ strengths based on Australia’s hydrogen production potential and Germany’s technological expertise and expected strong future demand.
Under the Accord the responsible ministers, the Australian Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and the German Federal Minister for Education and Research decided to pursue three new initiatives:
- HyGate Initiative: The Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator will deliver novel, real-world pilot, trial, demonstration, and research projects along the hydrogen supply chain for hydrogen produced from renewable sources.
- Collaboration in Australian Hydrogen Hubs: The Hubs, which are selected regions where hydrogen users and exporters are co-located to reduce costs and share information, will help the industry to stimulate demand and achieve the scale needed to achieve the Technology Investment Roadmap goal of producing hydrogen at under $2 a kilogram, the price at which hydrogen becomes competitive with higher emissions alternatives.
- Facilitating trade of hydrogen between Australia and Germany: Building on Germany’s €900 million H2Global scheme, a mechanism that will support the international market ramp up of green hydrogen by stimulating hydrogen exports to Germany, Australia and Germany will explore options to facilitate export of hydrogen produced from renewables from Australia to Germany.
The Accord builds on Australia’s existing collaboration with Germany: our HySupplyproject is a feasibility study exploring opportunities for a green hydrogen supply chain from Australia to Germany. Learn more below!
HySupply: Our joint Australian-German Hydrogen feasibility study
Recognising their complementary strengths, Australia and Germany have established a joint feasibility study to examine all aspects of a renewable hydrogen supply chain stretching from Australia to Germany. The HySupply project will explore the potential for:
How to bring costs down?
How should hydrogen be transported?
What infrastructure will be needed in Australia and in Germany?
How can customers be sure they are buying truly green hydrogen?
Find all details on the feasibility study in our brochure here and in the our displays from the Shipping the Sunshine event.
The project is led by industry with support from both the Australian and German government. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Academy for Science and Engineering (acatech) on the German side, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) on the Australian side, have assembled leading industry, academic and research partners.
Over a two-year period, project partners will identify the prospects and address the challenges of a bilateral supply chain. Developing a supply chain of this sort is not simple, and there are many complex technical, logistical and regulatory matters to settle.
While a final feasibility study is expected toward the end of 2022, project partners will identify early pilots and test projects for industry to invest in the short-term. Follow news of the project at @AusAmdDE or check in regularly below.
Transport is not a major cost, despite the distance
See the indicative total export value chain for green ammonia below: Variable shipping costs are a modest component of the total cost
(shipping costs shown in red circle below)
HySupply news and resources
- Further information can be found in the displays from our Shipping the sunshine event.
- Australian and German governments sign MOU to create a joint feasibility study into a supply chain for renewable hydrogen - media release on 19 November 2020
- Learn more about the German partners: project summaries by BDI and acatech
- Learn more about the Australian partner: University of New South Wales Sydney
Why is hydrogen the energy resource of the future? Learn more about Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy here or subscribe to the Australian Hydrogen News. You can find more insights on Australian hydrogen project on the CSIRO website as well as Australia's Hydrogen Council pages.
Catch up on the expert webinar ‘Toward a Global Hydrogen Market’ hosted by the Australian Embassy Berlin and the Australian Mission to the EU in September 2020. Hear Australian, German and EU experts discuss the opportunities for the three jurisdictions to work together to shape a future hydrogen market and make this clean energy carrier a reality. Panellists included:
You can now watch the discussion online:
Interested in meeting us in person?
Find us at these upcoming events
9 – 10 May, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Visit the Australia stand at the World Hydrogen Summit and have a conversation with Australian industry, policy makers and researchers.
31 May – 1 June, Adelaide, Australia
The Australian Hydrogen Conference
Join large delegations from other countries, such as Germany, Japan and Korea, to meet with key partners building the green hydrogen industry.