The hydrogen revolution

In this section

Accelerating global decarbonisation

Australia's hydrogen industry is expected to contribute at least $11 billion to the national economy and generate around 7,600 jobs by 20501. Due to its abundance of natural resources, Australia has the potential to become a green hydrogen 'superpower'. The question is, how and when?

The first hydrogen projects will undoubtedly play a key role in shaping the hydrogen industry in Australia, and it is critical that we get it right. With the Australian Government's Technology Investment Roadmap identifying hydrogen as a priority technology for investment, now is the time to focus our efforts on this emerging industry.

Key issues for hydrogen projects

There are a number of key issues that will need to be closely considered and managed in the early stages of a hydrogen project. These include:

Intellectual property

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Project financing

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Structuring

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Approvals and tenure

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Regulatory hurdles

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In our overview of the hydrogen opportunity, we briefly unpack these key issues and the matters that will require particular attention when establishing the first hydrogen projects.

The hydrogen project lifecycle

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Consider need / application

  • Grid electricity
  • Heating
  • Transport
  • Industry feedstock
  • Export

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Technology development and protection

  • Feasibility studies
  • Demonstration scale projects
  • Intellectual property strategy

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Financing

  • ARENA and CEFC
  • State Government funding
  • Renewables project financing

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Site selection, tenure and approvals

  • Access to infrastructure
  • Water rights
  • Negotiating tenure
  • Native title
  • Planning approvals

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Structuring

  • EPC and O&M agreements
  • Power supply
  • M&A opportunities

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Offtake / end use

  • Offtake agreements
  • Storage and transport
  • Export considerations

How we can help

Our team has market-leading experience advising on first-to-market energy and infrastructure development projects across all technologies – from the beginning of the renewables boom, to pumped hydro, large-scale battery storage and waste-to-energy projects.  

We help our clients with:

  • Project lifecycle planning
  • Regulatory reform
  • Project structuring and tax advice
  • Project finance
  • Development of new technologies, including IP and partnering for commercialisation
  • Site selection, tenure and native title
  • Environmental impact assessments, planning and regulatory approvals
  • M&A
  • Risk, compliance, licensing and reporting
  • Work, health and safety

Footnote

  1. COAG Energy Council, 'Australia's National Hydrogen Strategy' (November 2019).

Experience

Australian hydrogen participant

We helped in relation to potential collaboration agreements to team with other parties, developing and demonstrating hydrogen supply chain technology.

State Government

We advised in relation to the sale of land to be used for hydrogen facility developments.

Renewable energy developer

Advising on a renewable project being developed in Tasmania, where the client is looking to add a hydrogen facility on site.

Energy company

Helped on environment, planning and land transactions in relation to the development of a hydrogen facility in Queensland.

Hydrogen project finance

Advised start-ups in relation to electrolytic (solar and wind derived) hydrogen manufacturing and exporting. We have also advised bioenergy start-ups in relation to dimethyl ether and ammonia manufacturing and exporting.