The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has opened a new $70 million funding round for hydrogen for applications, which the agency hopes will accelerate the creation of a globally competitive hydrogen industry in Australia. ARENA opened the Fund for Expressions of Interest for Large Renewable Hydrogen Projects, including in a number of industries and end-uses, and said that hydrogen projects, which ARENA has previously supported, have identified a “significant trade deficit” and that the new funding cycle will help reduce hydrogen production costs. Several major European steel producers have begun testing the use of hydrogen in steel production and federal Energy Reduction and Emissions Minister Angus Taylor said arena funding would be key to harnessing Australia`s ability to supply renewable hydrogen to these industries. ARENA has already provided more than $55 million in grants to support the development and demonstration of new hydrogen technologies, including a demonstration project with the Yemeni gas supplier worth $15 million. ARENA anticipates that it will invite a list of potential projects to submit full funding applications sometime in 2020 and that final funding agreements are expected to be concluded by the end of the year. “Despite the very significant benefits that hydrogen can bring, it is not yet cost-effective for large-scale use in our energy systems. This $70 million funding round will help demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of large-scale hydrogen production through electrolysis,” said Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor. The $70 million arena funding round, which will consist primarily of grants, will operate, as well as an additional $300 million commitment by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to support direct investment in new projects. The funding cycle builds on a commitment Taylor outlined in a speech last year at a ceda event in Sydney that aimed to achieve hydrogen production below $2 per kilogram and increased the potential to direct funding toward coal and gas hydrogen production, as well as carbon capture and storage. ARENA launches $70 million funding round for major renewable hydrogen projects. Because hydrogen has the potential to produce electrolysis using renewable energy sources such as wind and sun, it has the potential to serve as a carbon-free energy source.