Carbon capture and storage technology, low-emissions steel and hydrogen fuel will share in $1.3 billion as the federal government invests in its plan to get Australia to net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.

The funding includes $300 million for liquified natural gas and hydrogen production in Darwin, along with associated carbon capture and storage infrastructure.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said Australia was investing in lower emissions technologies like hydrogen to reduce the cost of production, which would then encourage uptake around the world without imposing taxes on private industry.

“Our technology not taxes approach will make sure Australia meets and beats our 2030 emissions target, and plays a leading role in bringing down global emissions by investing in the technologies that won’t just help Australia, but will help the world,” Mr Taylor said.

Darwin has an opportunity to become one of the world’s leading low-cost clean energy hubs, he said, pointing to its access to onshore and offshore gas and greenhouse gas storage resources, including the Beetaloo and Petrel basins and the offshore Barossa and Bayu-Undan fields.

A further $200 million will be spent on iron ore processing to support low-emissions steel production in Australia’s export customer countries such as Japan and South Korea.

Another $200 million will be used to develop new low-emissions manufacturing facilities in the Pilbara region, using hydrogen and its derivatives, such as ammonia, as well as carbon capture utilisation and storage.

The federal government will also commit $247.1 million to support increased private sector investment in low-emissions technologies including hydrogen, and the continued development of a hydrogen “guarantee of origin” scheme.

The Coalition’s plan to hit net zero by 2050 includes a significant expansion of Australia’s gas resources, which the government says will be used as a transition fuel to back up wind and solar power as cheaper renewable energy replaces coal-fired power in the electricity grid.

This includes spending on controversial carbon capture and storage technology, which has so far not been delivered on a commercial scale despite billions of dollars in investment.

The government also committed $148.6 million to “support more investment in affordable and reliable power” including community microgrid projects in regional and rural communities.

Extracted in full from: Budget 2022: Hydrogen, gas and carbon capture gets extra $1.3 billion (smh.com.au)

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