Vic. backs hydrogen sites
The Victorian Government is contributing $14 million to a battery facility and a regional hydrogen hub at university campuses.
Deakin University’s Hycel Technology Hub will receive $9 million to test hydrogen fuel technologies, while $5.2 million in funding has been announced for the Battery Technology Research and Innovation Hub 2.0 at Deakin's Burwood campus.
Deakin Energy director Adrian Panow says the funding will help develop the production of hydrogen fuel, and “really make that step change where hydrogen becomes a viable option”
“Particularly for those sectors that are very difficult to decarbonise, so heavy transport in particular, finding a substitute for natural gas with the low carbon footprint,” he said.
“It's a small factory that will house equipment to manufacture, to trial and to test fuel cell equipment.
“Importantly, it'll be a facility that will interface directly with communities, and particularly regional communities, to build that social licence so that when hydrogen becomes a viable large scale economy that the community is ready to accept it and we have a trained workforce that knows how to implement safely.
“What we've heard very clearly from our global collaborators is that the research out of a laboratory can't enter global supply chains unless it's been demonstrated at scale.
“That's why the investment needs to be substantial — so you can manufacture, you can build the small and medium enterprise sector to convert the fantastic science into a scale that a manufacturer can pick up and realise it's viable, it's safe and it can be implemented.
“The regional location is perhaps often underestimated in its importance.
“Hydrogen lends itself very well to that long distance travel and the local industry in the south west of Victoria — dairy, forestry and manufacturing in that area.
“Hydrogen enables that whole sector at alternatives in how it's going to decarbonise.”
The Hycel Technology Hub has also received $2 million in federal funding.