Hunter Region Nominated as a Hydrogen Technology Cluster

Monday, 1 February 2021

The Hunter region has been chosen as the Hunter Hydrogen Technology Cluster in an announcement made today from National Energy Resources Australia (NERA).

NERA logo
National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) announces Hunter region for Hydrogen Technology Cluster

This is part of a drive by NERA to establish a nationwide hydrogen cluster to foster a multi-billion dollar, globally competitive hydrogen industry for Australia.

The national cluster aims to support the development of the hydrogen supply chain, reduce overlaps and identify gaps in the development, deployment and commercialisation of new hydrogen focused technologies.

Today’s announcement follows the conclusion of a seed funding selection program started by NERA in 2020, and is part of a $1.75m investment across 13 clusters in all states and territories.

The Hunter Cluster will receive $200,000 seed funding from NERA and industry to establish a hydrogen technology cluster around key hydrogen projects and technology supply chains across Australia to enhance local cohesion, technology and capability in the hydrogen value chain.

The Hunter Hydrogen Technology Cluster, as the only Regional Cluster for NSW, is supported by several local industry associations, businesses, TAFE and The University of Newcastle, and spans the Hunter, Central Coast and Orana regions of the state.

The Hunter Region hosts a highly skilled workforce, including advanced manufacturing, and technology and engineering expertise in the energy and resources sectors, making it critical to the development of a clean, innovative, competitive, technology-neutral and safe Australian hydrogen industry.

Commenting on the establishment of the hydrogen technology cluster in the Hunter Region, NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said; “the Hunter Valley is a strong energy and manufacturing region and I’m delighted to see the leadership shown by key local organisations to maximise the region’s opportunities from the development of a local hydrogen technology cluster.”

Professor Janet Nelson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), University of Newcastle said Hydrogen had a natural fit for a centre stage role in our future energy needs.

“The Hunter, with its high-quality existing transport infrastructure, access to large scale gas industry and capacity for hydrogen production, is the ideal location for a hydrogen cluster. We are a region built on industrial innovation and have the right mix of advanced manufacturing, energy generation networks and a skilled workforce to provide a ready-made platform for the development of a hydrogen economy, all while creating new jobs for our community.”

The regional hydrogen clusters will connect to form the National Hydrogen Cluster to establish a global identity and a recognised brand for Australian hydrogen technology and expertise.

The need for this national approval was identified by the 2019 National Hydrogen Strategy as an important component to scale up Australia’s domestic industry to become a global hydrogen competitor.

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