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UNSW Sydney will lead a consortium of Australian research and industry partners, who will work together with partners in Germany to test the feasibility of a renewable energy-based hydrogen supply chain between the two countries.

The feasibility study – which was awarded from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade over two years – will look for opportunities to collaborate with Australian and German industries on the production, storage, transport and use of hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources. It will also assess current technologies, identify regulatory and logistical barriers, and recommend business models for the development of this two-way trade and investment.

Led by Associate Professor Iain MacGill, the team comprises Scientia Professor Rose Amal AC, Professor Sami Kara, Professor Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou and Dr. Rahman Daiyan, from the ARC Training Centre for The Global Hydrogen Economy (GlobH2E), with local and global industry partners including Deloitte, Baringa Partners and MAN Energy.

“The great renewable energy potential, infrastructure and energy exporting expertise, together with the manufacturing excellence and energy import needs of Germany, presents these countries with an ideal opportunity to establish a hydrogen value chain partnership that combines their comparative strengths and interests,” Associate Professor MacGill said.

“However, there are still considerable challenges, with associated uncertainties and risks, to overcome. This study will help us jointly plot a pathway to address these challenges and seize the opportunity for a vibrant renewable hydrogen sector in and across these countries, and beyond.”

UNSW is a world-leader in hydrogen research and home to the ARC Training Centre for The Global Hydrogen Economy, as well as the Hydrogen Energy Research Centre.

“This joint study with Germany is another example of how UNSW’s world-leading research drives job creation and economic growth by underpinning new industries. There are estimates that the green hydrogen industry could be worth US$2.5 trillion by 2050 worldwide. We are well positioned to capitalise on the emerging global growth of hydrogen, which will ultimately benefit the environment and our climate,” UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Nicholas Fisk said.

Australia and Germany have both released national hydrogen strategies to help support and grow the development of renewable hydrogen as a clean source of energy with the potential to lower national carbon emissions.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor and Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia issued a joint media release announcing the supply chain study and partnership with Germany.

“Partnering with future importers of hydrogen, such as Germany, will be critical to growing demand for Australian hydrogen and accelerating industry development,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This study will help build on existing hydrogen collaborations Australia has with other key energy trading partners including Japan, the Republic of Korea and most recently Singapore, all of which will be critical to building a world-leading hydrogen industry right here in Australia.”