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Funding to support Victoria’s transition to hydrogen announced

The state government of Victoria in Australia has announced two new grants schemes designed to support the adoption of cleaner hydrogen fuel sources in industry.

The business ready fund (BRF) will provide a total of AUS$1 million ($740,000) funding to support business cases or feasibility studies focused on assisting businesses in transitioning from an existing fuel source to renewable hydrogen. Each business will be able to apply for individual grants of up to AUS$150,000 ($110,000), provided that the business contributes an equal amount to the project. The BRF grants are targeted at energy-intensive industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, water corporates and gas producers and distributors.

The commercialisation pathways fund (CPF) will provide a total of AUS$6.2m ($4.6m) in funding for capital works projects that support pilot programs, trials and demonstrations of zero-emissions renewable hydrogen technologies in Victoria.

According to the Victorian government, the main objectives for the CPF include spurring investment in Victoria’s renewable hydrogen sector and facilitating co-investment and partnership opportunities for project proponents, creating new jobs and economic growth for Victoria in the process. The Victoria government also hope the CPF will provide an evidence base for decarbonisation through renewable hydrogen and enable demonstration projects to lead the way to commercialisation, as well as build the profile of hydrogen in Victoria and create a streamlined process for industry-government interactions and knowledge sharing.

George Varma, who specialises in hydrogen project transactions at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “It is great to see the Victorian government throw its support behind the advancement of its local hydrogen market, moving it more in line with the funding being made available in other states. This new funding round will encourage the development of domestic hydrogen demand and promote the local industry, which is forecasted to be a lucrative market, both domestically and internationally.”   

Business wishing to apply for a CPF grant will need to demonstrate how their project contributes to the production of renewable energy, or how it contributes to the achievement of one of the targets set out in focus area two of the Victorian renewable hydrogen industry development plan.

The two new grants will be funded through the AUS$10m ($7.35m) ‘accelerating Victoria’s hydrogen industry’ package and are intended to support the objectives established in the Victorian renewable hydrogen industry development plan.

Applications for both grants will close on 27 August 2021, and the Victorian government has published further information for interested businesses.

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