Australia, India Agreed to Set Up Green Hydrogen Task Force

Australia and India finalized an agreement to establish a green hydrogen task force between the two countries, which will advise the governments on accelerating production and deployment of clean hydrogen, with a focus on hydrogen electrolysers, fuel cells and creating infrastructure and regulations that support these aims. The announcement follows discussions between Modi and senior officials of Australian companies on investment opportunities for the two countries. The Indian prime minister’s office said on Tuesday that Modi met Fortescue Executive Chairman Forrest to discuss the Australian mining company’s work with Indian companies on green hydrogen. The office said Modi discussed India’s ambitious renewable energy strategy including Delhi’s green hydrogen mission, while Forrest briefed the Indian prime minister on Fortescue Future Industries’ (FFI) plans and projects in India.

“The task force will comprise Australian and Indian experts in renewable hydrogen and report to the Australian-Indian Ministerial Energy Dialogue on the opportunities which are there for Australia and India to cooperate in this important area of renewable hydrogen,” Australian Prime Minister Albanese said.

India is Australia’s sixth largest trading partner with trade in goods and services valued at A$46.5 billion ($30.7 billion) in 2022, with coal shipments from Australia comprising majority. India imported 45.53 million tons of Australian coking coal last year, down from 2021’s 54.25 million tons but remaining the top destination for the commodity, a position it has held for a decade ahead of Japan.

Albanese government, which took power a year ago, has been accelerating efforts to develop renewable energy sources, to eventually replace the nation’s major exports of LNG and coal through a more ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goal than the previous government.

Australia is also reviewing its support for hydrogen to compete with generous tax breaks and subsidies being offered worldwide, with the federal government concerned it is losing edge despite a pipeline of projects representing 40% of proposed green hydrogen developments. A recently announced funding scheme for hydrogen aims to subsidize two or three projects totaling 1GW of electrolyser capacity by 2030.

India announced a National Green Hydrogen Mission in January targeting 5 million tons/year (mtpa) of domestic green hydrogen production by 2030, with the potential to reach 10 mtpa with the growth of export markets. India’s cabinet approved an initial outlay of 197.44 billion rupees ($2.39 billion) for the mission, with much of the funding used to incentivize domestic hydrogen production and electrolyser manufacturing. India plans to grow its installed renewables capacity to 500 GW by 2030 from 125 GW currently to help meet the government’s target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2070.

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