Posted on

Hydrogen in Australia – The States of Play | Perspectives & Events | Mayer Brown

Hydrogen in Australia – The States of Play | Perspectives & Events | Mayer Brown


In May we published a Legal Update on the recent Australian federal election (here) and what a new Labor government may mean for the renewables industry in Australia. The note highlighted that no specific legislation was planned for hydrogen.

Australia’s states have been more active in trying to jump on the hydrogen bandwagon. This Legal Update provides a brief overview of the existing and planned legislation for hydrogen in Australia’s six states and two territories.


Australia does not have any federal laws in place that deal directly with hydrogen. There are existing funding mechanisms in place, as well as new announcements from the Labor government aimed at encouraging renewables development. The federal government has also taken the lead in trying to achieve harmonisation across the states in the regulation of hydrogen. For example, Australia’s energy ministers (at federal and state level) recently agreed to amend the national gas regulatory framework to address biomethane and hydrogen and reconsider the definition of “natural gas” under the National Gas Law

The federal government has also commenced trialling a Guarantee of Origin scheme that may eventually allow the certification of hydrogen exports as “green hydrogen”. This will be of particular importance to Japanese and Korean importers, where hydrogen is seen as part of their plans to be carbon neutral by 2030 and 2050, respectively.

New South Wales

The government released the NSW Hydrogen Strategy in October 2021. The government has pledged up to A$3 billion in support of green hydrogen. The government aims to create hydrogen hubs where there are geographical requirements for green hydrogen and, importantly, in coal-producing areas (such as the Hunter Valley and Illawarra) where “going green” is often seen as an attack on jobs and the local economy.

The government has also introduced the Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2021, with a plan of allowing blending of up to 10 percent hydrogen and biomethane into natural gas pipelines by 2030. The law also amends the Electricity Supply Act 1995 and the Energy and Utilities Administration Act 1987 to allow specific exemptions for electricity used in the production of green hydrogen. Electricity used for green hydrogen production will also be exempt from the Climate Change Fund.

Western Australia

Western Australia’s economy is heavily tied to the energy and resources industry. It has a highly skilled workforce and solid export infrastructure, providing significant potential for the development of a green hydrogen market

In 2019, the government released its Renewable Hydrogen Strategy. As with other states, the paper was more aspirational than it was detailed. Key areas of consideration were replacing diesel with hydrogen in remotely located communities and industries, blending hydrogen into existing natural gas networks, mobility and leveraging existing infrastructure and skills to promote hydrogen export. The strategy has recently been updated (translations in Japanese (here) and Korean (here).

Western Australia is one of the few states implementing laws to encourage hydrogen development. The government recently announced the Land and Public Works Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, which will amend the Land Administration Act 1997. This will allow for the introduction of “diversification leases”. While this is not as attention-grabbing as the announcement of a multi-million dollar fund, the actual impact of this bill could be significant. The introduction of a diversified lease could allow the development of renewables and hydrogen projects on crown land or pastoral leases. Presently, pastoral leases only allow the land to be used for pastoral purposes. The changes could free up significant areas of land for hydrogen and renewables development.

The government has also announced plans to introduce up to 10 percent renewable hydrogen into the gas network by 2030. The government had previously set a timetable of 2040 to achieve this.

South Australia

South Australia is a leading state in terms of spending money on, and taking action to facilitate, hydrogen development. In February 2021, the government amended the Petroleum and Geothermal Regulations 2013 to make hydrogen, and its compounds and by-products, “regulated substances” under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000. This amendment allowed for the exploration and development of natural hydrogen under the state’s petroleum licensing regime.

The government has also announced an intention to introduce legislation that will expedite hydrogen development. The legislation will cover the licencing of green and blue hydrogen, with the intention that the law can be the focal point for hydrogen reduction. No details of the law have been provided. It is not clear when an exposure draft will be released for public comment.

As with other states, South Australia is promoting a number of active projects. Notably, the government has committed A$593 million over four years to create a hydrogen hub in Whyalla (an industrial port city, approximately 400km from South Australia’s capital, Adelaide).


Tasmania already produces approximately 90 percent of its electricity from hydropower. Tasmania exports electricity to the mainland during peak demand via the Basslink electricity interconnector. Tasmania has established the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Fund which will promote the trial of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and provide loans to support hydrogen projects. There are no hydrogen specific laws in place.


The government has published the Victorian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan. Like other state governments, the Victorian government emphasises the importance of hydrogen and renewables development. No specific legislation has been announced.


Queensland has been the focus of significant attention in the renewables and hydrogen space. Queensland’s existing gas and LNG infrastructure, strong resources industry, favourable solar climate, and proximity to Asian markets have made it a popular place for development, particularly with Korean and Japanese investors.

The government has not introduced any hydrogen specific legislation. The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Jobs Fund has been formed to promote job-creation in the renewables and hydrogen industries. There is also focus on creating “hydrogen hubs”. The mining industry is a large employer in Queensland, so government policy may need to be more nuanced than in other states.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory released its Renewable Hydrogen Master Plan in October 2021. While the paper talks about the “extracting value”, “opportunities for downstream value-add” and plans to “drive economic growth” and “leverage the Territory’s unique value propositions”, no relevant legislation has been tabled for consideration. However, the Northern Territory’s close proximity to export markets, along with its renewables potential, makes it a jurisdiction to watch.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Given its small geographical area, it is not surprising that there is no legislation in place for large-scale hydrogen development in the ACT. While most of the energy produced in the ACT comes from renewable sources (mainly solar), the ACT imports most of its electricity through the national electricity grid, via New South Wales. The ACT does have some incentives in place for renewables, including subsidies for electric vehicles.

Posted on



The now sold-out Strategic Conference invites experts to analyze the challenges the industry is currently facing, and the solutions available to bring awareness to hydrogen in transforming Canada’s energy sector. Attendees will hear from a notable lineup of speakers including Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources; Corey Hessen, Executive Vice-President, Power, Storage and Origination of TC Energy; Grand Chief George Arcand Jr.; and Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Air Products.

“We are really proud to launch the first Canadian Hydrogen Convention and welcome leaders to Edmonton to join these important conversations and discover what is needed to supercharge the industry,” said Nick Samain, Vice President, dmg events. “Hydrogen is expected to be a vital component in the low carbon economy, and Canada has all the resources to develop a competitive and sustainable hydrogen economy. The Canadian Hydrogen Convention will illustrate Canada’s leadership in hydrogen and position the country as a global hydrogen powerhouse.”

CHC will take place over three days, with the exhibition and conference on April 26 and 27. On the third and final day, a Driving Site Tour will be hosted by the Alberta Industrial Heartland Association. Here, attendees can witness high-profile projects and companies and gain a comprehensive understanding of the size and scope of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. Additionally, attendees can view large-scale projects from companies like Dow, Shell, Nutrien, Sherritt, and Pembina. April 27 will also mark the first Canadian Hydrogen Awards, recognizing excellence in the hydrogen industry and honouring leaders, innovators, and trailblazers who actively promote healthy advancements in the sector.

“As a planned annual conference, the Canadian Hydrogen Convention will become a longstanding event, demonstrating the significant interest there is in Edmonton, and Canada more broadly, in hydrogen and related technologies,” said Malcolm Bruce, CEO of Edmonton Global. “As the economic development organization representing the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, Edmonton Global is pleased to be co-hosting this important event. Energy has long been the backbone of the Edmonton economy, and we are excited about the opportunity that hydrogen represents for our region to continue to lead in providing sustainable energy solutions for Canada and beyond.”

The two-day Canadian Hydrogen Technical Courses that will run alongside the main conference will present 40 papers that showcase the latest in technologies, processes, and innovations. The tradeshow floor features a diverse range of companies including TC Energy, Air Products, WSP, Toyota, Nikola, ATCO, InnoTech Alberta, Hydra Energy, and many more. Featured exhibits will include hydrogen production, transportation, carbon capture, and energy consumption.

Canada is positioned to become a leading global producer of clean hydrogen due to its skilled labour force and strategic energy assets. A clean hydrogen economy can diversify the country’s future energy mix while generating economic benefits. With hydrogen supply more accessible than demand end uses, establishing reliable sources of hydrogen demand will be key to unlocking a hydrogen economy in Canada.

Media interested in attending must register here. For more information on the Canadian Hydrogen Convention visit

About Canadian Hydrogen Convention

Canada is playing a critical role in the development of the global hydrogen economy with innovators in production processes and pioneers in fuel cell technology. To demonstrate Canada’s leadership in hydrogen, the Canadian Hydrogen Convention will launch its inaugural event in April 2022 in Edmonton, Alberta. This must-attend event will bring the entire Canadian supply chain together to discuss innovations and solutions for low-carbon hydrogen production, energy infrastructure, storage, and the path forward as Canada works towards net zero by 2050.

SOURCE dmg events

For further information: CHC Media Contact: Edelman on behalf of CHC, Erin Hill, [email protected], Cell: 587-228-6904; Narmina Rafiyeva, Marketing Director, dmg events, [email protected], Cell: 403-512-1213