The Queensland Government is allocating $750,000 in next month’s state budget towards developing hydrogen (H2) as a “credible alternate source of renewable fuel”.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the first steps towards creating a new renewable energy industry today as part of her trade mission to Japan. The funding will support the investigation of producing and supplying H2 at a competitive price to alternative energy sources.

“Japanese companies are pursuing a number of different technologies in an effort to bring H2 to market as a credible alternate source of renewable fuel. As this technological process unfolds, Queensland has the raw materials that can put us at the front of an energy revolution. Now is the time to position Queensland to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead,” Palaszcuk said.

The Premier said a Queensland H2 industry could further entrench Queensland’s dominance as a supplier of energy to domestic and international markets.

“This funding will support early stage investigation of demonstration projects, assisting my Government to identify the feasibility of producing hydrogen in this state at a competitive price to natural gas and other energy sources,” she explained.

H2 is made from natural gas via a process called steam reforming. However, significant focus is now on other methods to produce renewable H2 from solar power and renewable organic sources such as green waste.

With the growth of renewable energy generation in Queensland, there is an opportunity to turn some of this energy into H2 for local and international markets.

It can be used as a fuel source or raw material in a variety of applications from industrial and chemical manufacturing to powering cars, buses and trucks to offset carbon emissions.

Over the past decade the Japanese Government has invested more than $12bn in H2 research and development and is pursuing H2 as a core element of its energy solution.

“Queensland is well placed for H2 production with access to feedstock such as water and solar power, existing gas pipeline infrastructure, access to export ports and access to domestic and international markets,” the Premier said. “A competitive Queensland-based H2industry could introduce a new energy option for our manufacturing firms and add stability to the state’s electricity grid due to various H2 applications in grid-scale storage and remote or off-grid power generation.”