2022 Day One Highlights

With close to 400 delegates in the room on day one, enjoying 39 speakers, facilitators and panellists, let us share today’s programme highlights with you!

Diverse global megatrends such as Energy Security, Renewable Energy, Electrolysers and Fuel Cells were hotly debated. Whilst most questions of the day were all about the many H2 game-changing opportunities, common issues significant to upstream, mid-stream, downstream and financial players became evident.

Peta Ashworth, Director, Andrew N Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership, University of Queensland, kicked off the day by reminding us of the tagline;

“To make Australia, make it here.”

Peta Ashworth

It’s about Australia vs the World

rather than Queensland vs Victoria vs NSW etc

Despite the competition between Australian states and local government to win the hydrogen race, we need to join together to win the global race. We are competing with Europe, the Middle East and USA, whose governments make it easy for their hydrogen players to compete on price, equipment, capital and sale of product.

9 golden threads resonated across today’s presentations and panels. Whether it was the voices from the Hydrogen Taskforce, government representatives, thought leaders, national domestic demand influencers, domestic production forerunners, local supply chain participants, or the people with the money at the ready, their voice was unanimous.

  1. Hydrogen is not simple and requires new ways of thinking and new ways of thinking together.
  2. Respectful conversations and constructive collaboration need to happen quickly. In particular, social license conversations, both of which are industry and government responsibilities.
  3. The Queensland, Victoria and NSW State Governments are open for business to drive costs down with new legislation and incentives on the cusp.
  4. There are plenty of off-taker conversations happening and customers need it where they want it and when they want it, not where you put it! “Vis-a-vis building only where solar, water and land is cheap” to create reliable demand.
  5. We need new skills and a new workforce to feed into the 43 million global green jobs by 2050.
  6. We need scale to lower the cost and introduce incentives for off-takers to invest in hydrogen transition. Are there enough reasons for off-takers to invest heavily in transition costs, whilst procuring a “more expensive” energy supply?
  7. We need clear policy signals, with federal and local government coming to the party, offering the right incentives, rebates, grants and subsidies to compete with US, Europe and the Middle East, to achieve economic-environmental benefits. What will set us apart is government leadership, to masterplan infrastructure and level the playing field between fossils and green. For hydrogen to succeed it needs to be attractive to superannuation and pension funds. Government support is needed to kick-start this. The Middle East have lots of reserves, and the government framework to get things done quickly, and the cost of capital is cheap.
  8. We need pace and patience for things to come to fruition.
  9. Think BIG to think differently. Incrementalism has no space in the whole new H2 world.

“We need to move quickly. If we need it and can’t get it – we will make it”

Felicity Underhill, Director of East Australia & NZ Aotearoa, Fortescue Future Industries

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