INSIGHT

Hydrogen is having a moment

Energy

Hydrogen is the 'missing link'

The climate emergency is occupying mainstream policy focus in many countries and - with the lack of viable alternatives to achieve the levels of deep decarbonisation consistent with net zero targets - clean hydrogen has unprecedented political and industry momentum.

There is now a clear sense that hydrogen may prove the 'missing link' for countries seeking to achieve a fully functioning, net-zero economy consistent with their Paris Agreement objectives.

Linklaters, with contributions from our specialists, has put together a detailed analysis of the hydrogen vision that examines:

  1. the politics;
  2. use cases favoured by different countries;
  3. what the business models might need to be (and what they are); and
  4. the new legal changes needed to bring hydrogen into our everyday lives.

The Australian hydrogen landscape

Use cases in Australia 

In Australia, hydrogen is viewed as having a use case for transportation, heat and industry, as well as for export. While hydrogen has, in Australia, historically served mainly as an input into various industrial processes, both federal and state governments have committed to expanding the use of hydrogen to transportation and heat (among several other applications).

Financing hydrogen

Various government funds and initiatives have been created to incentivise the development of hydrogen projects in Australia. State governments have also committed to supporting the development of the hydrogen industry by way of financial support. While this funding has resulted in the feasibility of a number of research and pilot programs required for large-scale hydrogen production, it has been suggested that such financial support needs to be extended to encourage technological development and support existing pilot programs transitioning to large-scale commercialisation.

Regulatory hurdles

The current regulatory landscape does not explicitly accommodate the creation of a hydrogen market in Australia. While some existing legislative frameworks are likely to apply to the hydrogen industry, it is probable that further regulatory reform will be required to specifically target the needs of large-scale hydrogen production.

View the summary of the Australian hydrogen perspective on the Linklaters website