The head of the Hunter's hydrogen technology cluster believes the private sector now has every reason to invest in the development of the Hunter's hydrogen economy following the announcement that the region will be one of Australia's seven hydrogen hubs.
Cluster manager Clare Sykes,said the federal government's announcement recognised the region's status as a national energy powerhouse.
"We have shown we have the capability and the capacity to deliver the vision of making Australia a major global player in clean hydrogen production and exports by 2030," she said.
"With this announcement we have a green light to accelerate the diversification and growth of the hydrogen economy through our collaborative approach as a region."
The federal government's announcement complement's the state government's commitment to the development of a hydrogen economy in the Hunter.
The past 12 months has seen the establishment of the Hunter Hydrogen Taskforce and the Hunter Hydrogen Technology Cluster (NewH2), which is designed to bring together industry, business, research and government.
"With such a strong signal of confidence from the government, the private sector now has every reason to respond to what will be huge demand for technology, infrastructure and industrial growth. We can really get things moving along at an accelerated pace," Ms Sykes said.
Beyond Zero Emissions head of policy and research Tom Quinn said government support to de-risk investment in green hydrogen was the key to creating thousands of new jobs and diversifying regional economies.
"Research from Beyond Zero Emissions has shown the enormous jobs and economic potential of investing in renewable energy industrial precincts. Establishing precincts in the Hunter and Gladstone would create 45,000 new ongoing jobs, an extra $13 billion in annual revenue in the Hunter and Gladstone regions alone, and attract new industries and tens of billions of investment dollars to the regions. Establishing a clean hydrogen industrial hub in these regional locations is an important first step."
"Green hydrogen is a critical ingredient for the future of heavy industry in Australia including for the production of green ammonia, green steel and creation of high temperatures needed in industrial and manufacturing processes.