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The Indo-Pacific is the epicentre of the global hydrogen transition. The region has the world’s highest energy needs, and will struggle to meet climate targets based on existing energy technologies. It is also home to the world’s most active champions of hydrogen. Japan and Korea are spearheading the demand side of the market, and China promises a multi-faceted presence as both producer and customer. The Indo-Pacific is also attracting extra-regional players seeking global hydrogen leadership, particularly Germany and other European countries.

Australia has the potential to be the principal hydrogen supplier to the IndoPacific. It has the natural resources and technical capability required, and an established reputation as a trusted energy supplier to regional economies. Seizing the hydrogen opportunity would help Australia pivot from being a hydrocarbon to renewable energy exporter. This is critical for its economic success in a clean energy future.

Realising hydrogen’s potential will require major efforts from both government and business. Emerging technologies need to be refined, an entirely new network of regional energy infrastructure must be built, and policy settings must be configured to the unique features of this new market. This report outlines how international cooperation is essential for achieving these goals.

There are several steps Australia can now take to become an export superpower, and support hydrogen’s transformative potential for the IndoPacific. Australian governments – both federal and state – should pursue options for facilitating more rapid growth in Australian hydrogen production, with a focus on export-oriented green hydrogen projects. Australia should also lead the development of international cooperation on hydrogen, with a focus on efforts to promote standards, trade, and infrastructural investment.

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