Real-world pilot, trial, demonstration, and research projects along the hydrogen supply chain are set to get a boost by the German-Australia Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator known as HyGATE.

Australia and Germany have committed up to AU$50 million and €50 million, respectively, to invest in hydrogen projects with a focus on hydrogen produced from renewables – otherwise known as ‘green hydrogen’.

Broadly speaking, green hydrogen is produced from water using electrolysers powered by renewable energy.

Funding will be provided from the $565.8 million committed in the 2021-2022 budget initiative to establish low emissions technology partnerships and initiatives with key trading and strategic partners.

Australia’s Special Adviser on Low Emissions Technology, Dr Alan Finkel, has played a key role in brokering the hydrogen partnership with Germany and will continue to work with ARENA in the delivery of HyGATE, the group announced.

Australian and German industry and research partners to lead the way

All projects funded under the HyGATE initiative are required to be linked to hydrogen from renewables, have a forward-looking approach and advance novel solutions on a pilot-scale under real-world conditions, to progress renewable hydrogen towards commercialisation.

A key element of the initiative will be bringing together Australian and German industry and research partners to deliver the projects.

This move follows the announcement made by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry, Energy, and Emissions Reduction in June that the two countries will invest in a series of new initiatives to accelerate the development of a hydrogen industry, creating new economic opportunities and jobs while reducing emissions.

The Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord, executed by the two countries, builds on respective strengths, with Australia looking to be a major hydrogen exporter and Germany holding expertise in hydrogen technology and planning to import significant quantities of hydrogen in the future.

Funding initiative opens Q1 2022

ARENA’s focus will be on the first initiative of the Accord, which is to establish HyGATE with the German Ministry for Research (BMBF).

The funding initiative is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2022.

On the German side, Project Management Jülich (PtJ) will implement HyGATE on behalf of BMBF.

Growing the renewable hydrogen economy

ARENA CEO Darren Miller welcomed the opportunity to work with BMBF.

“Having already committed over $160 million into renewable hydrogen research, studies and electrolyser deployments, ARENA now has an opportunity to highlight Australia’s innovation and commitment to being at the forefront of a renewable hydrogen economy.”

This sentiment was reiterated by Dr Finkel who said the HyGATE initiative was an “important step to fast-track the development of zero emissions hydrogen technologies.”

“International partnerships are key to accelerating the development of low emissions technologies to unlock their emissions reduction potential,” he said.


ASX green hydrogen stocks

In line with the ongoing green hydrogen initiatives at the policy level, here is a list of ASX green hydrogen stocks to watch.

Lion Energy (ASX:LIO)

Headquartered in Perth, Western Australia the company recently raised $9.6m to explore business opportunities in green hydrogen in Australia.

Its initial focus is on the production and delivery of green hydrogen for the domestic heavy mobility market, in particular public buses.

Multiple partnerships have been signed with with hydrogen refuelling equipment suppliers, bus fleet operators and bus suppliers to position itself at the forefront of the opportunity.

The company envisions building and operating a network of hydrogen production hubs and refuelling stations.

Hazer Group (ASX:HZR)

The part graphite/part hydrogen player is aiming to produce green hydrogen from biogas via its commercial demonstration project in Western Australia which is currently under construction.

Its hazer process is a low-emission hydrogen and graphite production process, which enables the effective conversion of natural gas and similar methane feedstocks into hydrogen and high-quality graphite, using iron ore as a process catalyst.

Province Resources (ASX:PRL)

PRL is developing the HyEnergyTM green hydrogen project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, which would be supported by up to 8GW of renewable energy.

It is currently progressing land tenure arrangements with the Western Australian Government under existing legislation and in September was granted a Section 91 licence to begin studies over a 98.6 sq km site north of Carnarvon.

Global Energy Ventures (ASX:GEV)

This energy transition company has a mission to deliver compressed shipping solutions for transporting energy to regional markets.

Earlier this month GEV raised $10m to complete the Tiwi Green Hydrogen Project feasibility study which will position the company as a first mover into the production, storage and transport of hydrogen.

The Tiwi Hydrogen Project, on the Tiwi Island in Australia’s Northern Territory will deliver a fully integrated green hydrogen production and export supply chain, commencing with a fleet of GEV’s 430t compressed hydrogen ships.

It will include a phased capacity up to 2.8 GW, producing up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of green hydrogen for export into the Asia-Pacific region.

QEM Limited (ASX:QEM)

Vanadium player QEM has a stake in the hydrogen sector, recently announcing plans to study “green hydrogen opportunities” at its Julia Creek vanadium and oil shale project in Queensland.


Unlisted (yet) players

H2X Global is a hydrogen vehicle maker focused on bringing zero-emission vehicles to roads.

The company is plotting its course to a major exchange listing and is pushing into new markets in a bid to establish itself as a global premium hydrogen vehicle manufacturer.

Infinite Blue Energy

The zero carbon commercial green hydrogen producer owns the Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project in Western Australia, and earlier in the year raised almost $10 million through a heavily oversubscribed pre-IPO.

Verdant Earth Technologies

The company raised $2 million via a pre-IPO raise earlier this year, with plans to list on the NASDAQ.

Verdant says its proposed green hydrogen plant, Australia’s first scalable hydrogen production plant, will initially deliver 6.5 tonnes per day before being scaled up to 60 tonnes per day by 2024.

It plans to establish further similar sized hydrogen production plants within Australia.

Sweetman Renewables

The company is looking to leverage on its sustainable biomass (in the form of a sawmill business) to produce green hydrogen with a $4m pre-IPO capital raising, ahead of its ASX debut later this year.