28 May 2024, Canberra – The first session Australia-EU Green Hydrogen Dialogue that took place in the frame of the EU funded EU Climate Dialogues (EUCDs) project marked the commencement of a series of pivotal bilateral conversations aimed at propelling the global transition towards a sustainable energy future. This first dialogue in a series of five, focused on scaling and accelerating green hydrogen adoption, brought together diverse stakeholders from industry, government, community, and academia to exchange insights, share best practices, and forge collaborative pathways forward.

At the heart of the conversation was a shared recognition of the transformative potential of green hydrogen as a clean, versatile, and scalable energy carrier. With both the European Union and Australia both placing significant emphasis on the role of green hydrogen in the energy transition, the dialogue provided a unique opportunity to share knowledge, exchange best practice and harmonise efforts for collective action.

A central theme throughout the dialogue was the imperative of investment in research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) initiatives. The European Clean Hydrogen Partnership’s model of collaboration, which has seen substantial funding allocated across the value chain, has served as a blueprint in the EU for driving innovation and technology advancement. As discussions unfolded, there was agreement that a co-ordinated approach to RD&D, coupled with targeted investment in emerging technologies, is essential to unlocking the full potential of green hydrogen.

Moreover, the dialogue underscored the critical importance of technology scale-up in realising the vision of a hydrogen economy. With the EU leading the charge in scaling electrolyser production and deployment, there was a consensus on the need for strategic partnerships and concerted efforts to ramp up manufacturing capacity. As we look to the future, the establishment of collaborative frameworks, such as the EU Electrolyser Partnership, will play a pivotal role in accelerating progress and achieving economies of scale.

Collaboration between the two regions of Australia and the EU emerged as a key enabler for driving the green hydrogen agenda forward. The dialogue highlighted the essential role of ports and infrastructure in facilitating the import and export of hydrogen, with examples such as the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Bremen serving as beacons of connectivity and trade. By sharing experiences and lessons learned, collaborations between Australian and EU in respect of hydrogen export/import ports initiatives promise to expedite the development of hydrogen infrastructure and foster international trade.

Furthermore, enabling policies and certification schemes were identified as linchpins for fostering market development and ensuring regulatory coherence. As discussions delved into the nuances of policy frameworks and certification standards, there was recognition of the need for alignment between EU and Australian schemes to facilitate international trade and market access. With both regions committed to driving sustainable energy transitions, there is an opportunity for the development of interoperable or harmonised schemes to create an enabling environment conducive to investment and innovation.

Looking ahead, this first Dialogue sets the stage for a series of forthcoming dialogues focused on key thematic areas, including green financing, social license and community acceptance, coordination across the green hydrogen supply chain, and hydrogen as a feedstock for a secondary process to produce other powerfuels, chemicals and green commodities (P2X).

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