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The New Equation for Australia’s hydrogen future

 

It takes a diverse community of solvers to build a competitive and sustainable hydrogen industry 

 

Clients: CLARA Energy; Queensland Government; Western Australia Government; Province Resources; Mitsui E&P Australia

Locations: NSW; QLD; WA

Sector: Power; Renewable Energy; Government

Services: Strategy and planning; financial advisory; supply chain modelling;  government approvals support, legal, commercial and regulatory advisory, and project management

 

To reach net zero emissions, Australia must transition to renewable energy and sustainable fuels. Green hydrogen is rapidly emerging as an exciting part of the solution – powering the future through the simple magic of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

With abundant land and renewable energy, Australia has the building blocks to produce globally competitive green hydrogen to service domestic demand and the growing international market. It’s also an opportunity to create new future-focused jobs and invigorate regional Australia.

“Australia’s hydrogen exports could be worth up to $10 billion each year to the economy by 2040, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.”

Other energy-rich nations are racing to capture the valuable hydrogen export opportunity, so there’s no time to waste. It is critical that industry and government act fast to develop the pathways, confidence and reputation that will attract investment.

These are exciting times, but new technologies also raise uncertainties and risks. Developers and investors are seeking confidence and many are putting their trust in our community of solvers to advise them on getting hydrogen right, regardless of its form or destination. 

We’ve identified four key factors for success and are solving with our clients to help them get it right:

  • Getting the price right
  • Establishing hydrogen infrastructure and supply chain
  • Navigating policy and regulation
  • Making it bankable through partnerships.

Getting the price right

To drive down the cost of hydrogen production, the industry must focus on overcoming the cost of large-scale electrolysers and must capitalise on Australia’s low-cost renewable energy. Developers will need to think innovatively about how they can best configure their project, including the sizing of the electrolyser, choice of technologies, and optimal location for ongoing, secure access to water and renewable energy.

Our community of solvers are advising project developers on how to get the best value from their projects. For example, we are advising CLARA Energy on delivering a co-located solar PV and green hydrogen production facility in NSW. We started solving at the feasibility stage, exploring site configurations and power import options to produce the lowest cost hydrogen. We reviewed applicable use cases and identified heavy haulage transport as the optimal offtake scenario given the project's advantageous location on the Hume Highway. We’re now working with CLARA Energy to secure development funding for the project.

Establishing hydrogen infrastructure and supply chain

Australia’s hydrogen supply chain and critical infrastructure will require parallel development as pilot projects progress towards industrial-scale production. For project developers, some of the burning questions will be where to locate their hydrogen project, how to efficiently and cost-effectively transport hydrogen molecules, the availability at Australia’s ports of the infrastructure needed for hydrogen storage and shipping, and what form the product should take to satisfy customer demand.

We are bringing together a community of solvers to work alongside state governments to determine where they can best intervene to capture the value of the hydrogen opportunity for their regions. For example, we are helping the Queensland and Western Australian Governments build their understanding of the green hydrogen market and value chains. Human-led and tech-powered, we are exploring and mapping supply and value chains for different technologies, and identifying where governments can support investment in infrastructure, leverage opportunities and reduce barriers for developers, manufacturers and downstream processors.

Navigating policy and regulation

Australia will need the right regulatory and social infrastructure to build trust and deliver sustainable outcomes as it transitions to green hydrogen. But navigating the fast-evolving regulatory environment for this emerging technology can be challenging for project developers, investors and regulators alike.

Our community of solvers is assisting Province Resources with the development of the export-scale solar/wind-to-hydrogen HyEnergy Project in Western Australia. We are delivering integrated infrastructure services spanning government approvals support, legal, commercial and regulatory advisory, and project management. In late 2021, we also helped the HyEnergy Project to secure lead agency status with the Western Australian Government, recognising the development as a significant project.

Making it bankable through partnerships

For investors and project developers, hydrogen projects present new challenges. Many hydrogen export projects under development have formed consortia bringing together the industry knowledge, skill sets and delivery capability to mitigate the many risks throughout the value chain. Equally crucial to project success are positive partnerships with federal, state and local government bodies, regulatory authorities, and local communities.

We’re proud to be working with our hydrogen clients as a trusted advisor on these projects. For example, we’re helping Mitsui E&P Australia who, along with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers Limited, are jointly studying the feasibility of creating an ammonia supply chain, bringing expertise in infrastructure, approvals, grants and incentives, legal and project support to help solve the challenges of this significant joint development between Australian and Japanese companies.

With the support of a diverse community of solvers, we can build trust and deliver sustainable outcomes for Australia’s hydrogen future.

            
 

Find out how The New Equation can work for you

Reach out to start a conversation

 

Lachy Hanes

Lachy Haynes,
Partner, Integrated Infrastructure, Environmental Transactions and Advisory, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 499 039 476
Email

Craig Fenton

Craig Fenton,
Partner, Integrated Infrastructure, Infrastructure Advisory, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 (7) 3257 8851

Email

Amy Lomas

Amy Lomas,
Partner, Integrated Infrastructure, Capital Projects, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 438 021 277

Email

Clare Pope

Clare Pope,
Partner, Global Legal ESG Lead, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 402 794 090

Email

Contact us

Lachy Haynes

Partner, Integrated Infrastructure, Environmental Transactions and Advisory, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (3) 8603 0630

Guy Chandler

National Energy & Utilities Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 439 345 045

Clare Pope

Global Legal ESG Lead, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 402 794 090