Author: Renata Berglas, Director H2Q
The World Hydrogen Summit 2023 kicked off with a tour of the Port of Rotterdam on a cold wet and windy day. Austrade arranged for an Australian delegation boat tour, and it was a who’s who of all the key people in hydrogen from Australia including, State Government representatives, ARENA, Clean Energy Council, AHC, industry representatives and of course H2Q. The opportunity to network was a fantastic way to start the Summit and everyone was in high spirits. The party before the main event!
The Port of Rotterdam is leading the way in future fuel development and industry decarbonisation. We toured past the 40km of Port infrastructure on the boat and listened to a number of presentations about decarbonisation programs. The Port authority plays a pivotal role in coordinating and facilitating the transition to a cleaner future. Working with the many industrial manufacturers in the port precinct and coordinating supply of critical resources including green hydrogen. After the boat we hopped on a bus which I thought might take us to the famous Future Land, which is a great euphemism for not built yet. The bus stopped in a desolate empty space next to enormous wind turbines, everyone piled out. There was no tour guide at this point and we all followed the leader up a steep set of sandy stairs to realise the site was the local beach. Looking back from the beach to the port it was clear the open space between wind turbines would be Future Land when it is fully developed.
“It made me think Australia is not behind the eight ball we are all at the early stage of development just a matter of scale.”
Port of Rotterdam tour in the background you can see wind turbines being loaded.
Day 2 of the Summit was an eye-opening experience. The magnitude of the event, three rooms of exhibitors, the whole supply chain represented, every kind of widget, safety professionals (did you know static electricity is a risk that needs to be managed), international delegations, vehicles, storage and consultants. All of these businesses are either already represented in Australia or will be soon enough. The Australian Government Budget was announced with $2 billion for hydrogen development was very well received and will no doubt draw more of the businesses on display to Australia. The fund is primarily focused on hydrogen supply providing a cost of difference top up to secure early-stage developments.
Presentations across the two days covered all of the usual areas we expect at a hydrogen summit. There were breakout sessions focused on batteries and storage, technical issue and off take opportunities. Of particular note was the interest shown to the UAE and Saudi presentations. EU is likely to source much of its hydrogen from the Middle East and is working through complex supply arrangements. There was an unusually high number of speaking spots for the Australians including Fiona Simons AHC who provided an inspiring speech on the need to consider framework of meaning through which we view development.
The UAE sent a big delegation as they are one of the key contenders for hydrogen supply to the EU
The size of the Australian delegation was the talk of the town, people told me they thought Australia was not interested in net zero given the previous government policy positions. However, throughout the program there was growing realisation that the States have been very busy getting on with hydrogen industry development while they waited for federal policy to change. In some respects, the scale of the Australian delegation was a clear indication that alignment was now possible between the states and national policy, and we are ready to proceed.
Team Australia at the World Hydrogen Summit.
The opportunity to represent H2Q at World Hydrogen Summit and connect with our member Endua and Carina Nixon was a career high for me. H2Q looks forward to welcoming businesses from across Queensland, Australia, and the World to the 2nd Annual Hydrogen Connect Summit 2023 on 6-7 September at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. See you there!
Out and about at World Hydrogen Summit 2023:
Renata, Karim & Linda. Chris Shaw and the Sumitomo team talking green shipping corridors
H2X started out in Australia but have moved to the UK. This is a hydrogen combustion ute targeted at delivering the same torque as a Ford Ranger. Nifty trick is instead of batteries it utilises super conductors.
Bosch are very keen to increase their presence in the hydrogen market.