$2.1 trillion. That’s the size of the global market opportunity identified by Deloitte that has Australian clean hydrogen project developers in a tizzy.

While some experts believe the hydrogen bubble well and truly burst two years ago, Deloitte’s new 2023 Global Green Hydrogen Outlook report paints a more optimistic picture, suggesting green hydrogen could be competitive in less than 10 years with strong international climate action.

The authors go as far to say the industry could overtake the global LNG business by 2030 and reach $2.1 trillion per year by 2050.

“Demand is expected to initially build on the decarbonisation of existing industrial uses of hydrogen, most notably for fertiliser production,” the report says.

“The net-zero transition then underpins rapid demand growth, cementing hydrogen’s role as a versatile solution for decarbonisation.

“By 2050, industry (iron and steel, chemicals, cement, and high-temperature heating) and transport (aviation, shipping, and heavy road transport) respectively can account for 42% and 36% of total clean hydrogen demand.”

With time, the outlook shows green hydrogen has to potential to stand on its own feet and Australia looks to grab a piece of that prize with its $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program providing revenue support for large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts.

Opening for expressions of interest in the first quarter of 2024, the program aims to bridge the commercial gap for early projects and put Australia on course for up to a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity by 2030.

Melbourne start-up inks deal with multi-billion dollar tech company

All these developments are a sign the hydrogen market is maturing, which is good news for companies like Cavendish Renewable Technology (CRT), a Melbourne-based hydrogen start-up with a lucrative solution to lowering green-hydrogen costs below the critical $2/kg price point, making it competitive with fossil fuels.

The company specialises in low-cost hydrogen electrolyser technologies, which use an electrical current to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water and reckons its proprietary Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) electrolyser can get green hydrogen costs down to around $1.90/kg.

In parallel, CRT is also developing its unique C-Cell electrolyser technology, a ground-breaking approach to electrolysis, boasting a high efficiency rate of up to 90%, compared to other electrolyser technologies.

This technology, which can be used for PEM/AEM and AEL electrolysers, can also be used in Redox Flow Batteries and other fuel cells applications.

In a move that will accelerate CRT’s electrolyser technologies, the company has attracted Missouri-based multi-billion dollar tech company Emmerson (NYSE:EMR), in a deal that will see the two parties work together on the roll-out of hydrogen electrolysers and ammonia processing equipment.

Under the newly signed agreement, Emmerson will leverage its extensive automation expertise and portfolio, including software, control systems, instrumentation, valves and safety solutions, to help CRT digitise operations for improved safety and reliability.

“It’s going to be a golden era for hydrogen over the next decade,” CRT CEO Ani Kulkarni says.

“Our value proposition is two-fold – firstly our proprietary electrolyser technology will enable production of green hydrogen at scale, at a cost competitive to fossil fuels.

“And our ammonia solution can convert ammonia directly into electricity, a one-step process that uses far less energy than converting ammonia back into hydrogen before electricity is produced.”


What about ‘natural’ hydrogen?

Unlike green, blue, and grey hydrogen, natural hydrogen – commonly referred to as ‘white’ or ‘gold’ hydrogen – is produced by natural processes that occur deep underground.

Small cap explorers are starting to sniff the stuff out in South Australia, the only jurisdiction in the country with a licensing regime in place and favourable geology which could generate natural hydrogen.

These same companies are also discovering its potential to offer significant cost and emissions advantages relative to other means of production.

While the green hydrogen sector is still trying to get costs down from about $8/kg to $2/kg, academics believe the cost structure for natural hydrogen could be anywhere from 50c to $1.50 per kilogram.

Gold Hydrogen (ASX:GHY) is exploring for natural hydrogen gas in an emerging natural hydrogen province on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula across its 74,332km2 permit area.

Results of a Stage 1 soil gas testing survey, conducted by CSIRO, detected hydrogen (H2) in soils in multiple locations and supports the company’s site selection for the Ramsay H1 well, which is on track to be spudded in October.

The explorer hopes to verify the findings of the historic Ramsay oil bore and mature the historical occurrences of natural hydrogen to a ‘discovery’ for resource evaluation and reporting purposes.

As the Australian government goes ‘all in’ on hydrogen, now is as good time as any to take a look at what some of the other ASX players are up to in the space.


What’s happening in the hydrogen space on the ASX?


Frontier’s DFS for the Bristol Springs green hydrogen project in Western Australia outlined the project’s potential to be both an early mover and one of the lowest cost green-hydrogen assets in Australia.

The company’s long-term strategy is to produce at least 1GW of renewable energy, sufficient for approximately 80Mkg per annum of green hydrogen.

Waroona Energy has been engaged to complete a study on the possibilities of a Dual Fuel Green Hydrogen Peaking Plant at the project, which is a mature technology used to supply power in the market during periods of high electricity demand.

The idea is for the peaking plant to be fuelled by natural gas sourced from suppliers and transported via the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP), with renewable hydrogen produced from the solar energy generated at Bristol Springs.



BPH is participating in the multi-billion-dollar hydrogen sector through its investee companies Clean Hydrogen Technologies and Onshore Energy who both signed a hydrocarbon process agreement in early June.

Onshore Energy, a subsidiary of Advent Energy, has rights to natural gas assets at the Weaber field in Northern Territory’s Bonaparte Basin, and plans to process the hydrocarbons from Advent’s gas opportunities to produce ‘turquoise’ hydrogen and carbon black products.

Carbon black products are used in various applications such as the black colouring pigment of newspaper inks, for tyres, floppy disks, and as an electric conductive agent for high-tech materials.



Sparc Hydrogen – a JV between the University of Adelaide, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), and Sparc – has executed a kick-start agreement with the CSIRO to carry out on-sun testing of the partnership’s photocatalytic water splitting reactor in NSW.

Set to start in Q3, the prototype testing aims to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of Sparc Hydrogen’s PWS reactor and provide valuable data and information for the subsequent piloting phase.

“Completion of this test work will be a significant milestone, not only for Sparc Hydrogen, but more widely for the advancement of photocatalytic water splitting – a next generation green hydrogen production technology – which does not require capital intensive electrolysers nor solar or wind farms,” Sparc’s executive chairman Stephen Hunt says.



RNE’s subsidiary, Countrywide Hydrogen, unveiled its refuelling strategy and launched its refuelling brand – H2Co Energy – earlier this week which is being deployed initially to the company’s flagship hydrogen projects in Tasmania before expansion takes place on the mainland.

According to Countrywide Hydrogen’s managing director Geoffrey Drucker, the refuelling stations do not need complex infrastructure.

“We can target a lower hydrogen price by not including third party reseller margins in the supply chain,” he says.

“Our strategically selected locations in Tasmania offer statewide coverage for fuel cell vehicle owners and drivers.”


Hydrogen stocks share prices today:


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While BHP Energy and Sparc Technologies are Stockhead clients, they did not sponsor this article.