Australia Australia

IPHE Country Update: November 2012

Status of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Developments in Australia:

New Policy Initiatives on Clean Technologies and Clean Energy (Read more)

The development of renewable energy technologies is part of the Australian Government's commitment to a clean energy future. The Government is conducting a review of Australia's Renewable Energy Target (currently 20 per cent by 2020) and has committed $17 billion in funding support for the Clean Energy Future plan announced on 10 July 2011. Importantly, on 1 July 2012, the Australian Government introduced a carbon price to the Australian economy, to achieve our long-term goal of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Combined, these initiatives provide unparalleled support for the development and deployment of renewable energy in Australia.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell R&D Update (Read more)   

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) conducts research that covers a range of scientific capability and new technologies that are relevant to hydrogen, these include research into membrane and separation technologies and solar conversion of natural gas to syngas.

An Australian company formed by CSIRO, Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited, has commercialised a domestic combined heat and power system that can use natural gas or hydrogen, which is currently being evaluated in a trial program run by Ausgrid in the Hunter region.

Hydrexia, a spin-off from University of Queensland, is also commercializing hydrogen storage technologies.

Demonstration and Deployments Update (Read more)

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) became operational on 1 July 2012. ARENA is an independent statutory authority tasked with the objectives of improving the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increasing the supply of renewable energy in Australia. This includes providing financial assistance for the research, development, demonstration, deployment and commercialisation of renewable energy and related technologies.

Events and Solicitations (Read more)

The Australian Government currently supports hydrogen research primarily through the Australian Research Council.

Australia is keen to keep abreast of international developments in the sector. We consider that the IPHE makes a valuable contribution to the sharing of information on hydrogen and fuel cell developments and in fostering cooperation between government and industry. Australia will continue to keep a close watch on developments within IPHE.

Investments: Government and Collaborative Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Funding (Read more)  

ARENA is currently finalising its General Funding Strategy, which will determine ARENA's principal objectives and priorities for the provision of financial assistance over the next three financial years.

Support for industrial-based research is available through the AusIndustry Climate Ready Initiative.

Regulations, Codes & Standards Update (


Data Table (



Sustainable Transport Energy Project (STEP)
Department of Resources, Energy, and Tourism
Australian Institute of Energy, AIE Hydrogen Division
Tasmanian Hydrogen Stakeholders' Network
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources

Reports & Publications

National Hydrogen Study
Hydrogen Technology Roadmap (2008)

Member Statements

Member Statements (Read more) - Last updated November 2012

  • Australian Statement (PDF 127KB); 18th Steering Committee Meeting; Seville, Spain; 14 November 2012
  • Australian Statement (PDF 418KB); 14th Steering Committee Meeting; Shanghai, China; 21-22 September 2010
  • Australian Statement (PDF 805KB); ILC Committee Meeting; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 24-26 April 2007
  • Australian Statement (PDF 80KB); Implementation and Liaison Committee Meeting; Oxford, England; 30 January - 1 February 2007
  • Australian Statement (PDF 326KB); Steering Committee Meeting; Reykjavik, Iceland; 26-27 September 2006
  • Australian Statement; Steering Committee Meeting; Kyoto, Japan; 14-15 September 2005 (No electronic presentation)
  • Australian Statement (PDF 196KB); Steering Committee Meeting; Paris, France; 26-28 January 2005
  • Austrailian Statement (PDF 19KB); Steering Committee Meeting; Bejing, China; 26-28 May 2004
  • Australian Statement (PDF 34KB); ILC Committee Meeting; Reisensburg, Germany; 26 February 2004
  • Ministerial Statement (PDF 74KB); IPHE Inaugural Ministerial Meeting; Washington, DC; 20 Nov 2003


Canada is recognized internationally as a global leader in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development and early stage commercialization.  Canada is a large producer and user of hydrogen and home to a significant concentration of hydrogen fuel cell expertise.  Canada’s industry is diverse and is representative of all elements within the supply chain from hydrogen manufacturing to fuel cell integrators.

Largely consisting of small and medium sized enterprises and research organizations across the country, the sector is supported by a well-educated labour force with advanced skills – key ingredients in building Canada’s knowledge economy.  Canadian companies have established a competitive global position resulting from years of research, development and demonstration activities.  The largest cluster of hydrogen and fuel cell companies in Canada is located in British Columbia.  Other clusters are located in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

Canada’s program targets four areas area sustainable hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, fuel cells and safety, codes and standards.  

Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen’s value as an energy carrier stems from the wide base of primary energy sources which can be employed to produce it. These include both renewable sources such as hydro, wind, solar and biomass, and non-renewable sources such as natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.     

Historically, Canada’s main thrust of past investments has been in hydrogen production via water electrolysis with special emphasis on systems for hydrogen production from wind. A considerable amount of R&D was carried out to address hydrogen production from low-value materials such as hydrogen sulphide and from coal or petroleum coke via the steam/iron process (a technology for centralized hydrogen production allowing easier carbon capture).  Smaller program elements included purification and separation. Activities have steered away from technologies which are being developed extensively in other countries and for which there was not a unique Canadian capability.  Recently, and going forward, Canada’s activities have focussed almost exclusively on electrolytic hydrogen production using PEM technology.

Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology for the deployment of fuel cell technologies in stationary, portable, and transportation applications.  The challenge for most end-uses is reversible, lower cost hydrogen storage systems with high volumetric and gravimetric hydrogen storage capacities. For transportation, the overarching technical challenge for hydrogen storage is how to store hydrogen on-board to meet performance (weight, volume, kinetics, etc.) safety and cost requirements and enable 300 +mile range, without compromising passenger/cargo space. Durability over the performance lifetime of these systems must also be verified and validated, and acceptable refueling times must be achieved.

Canada’s past investments have been in development of compressed, liquid and solid-state hydrogen storage systems.

Fuel Cells

Canada has been developing fuel cell technologies for transportation, stationary, and portable applications for over 30 years.  For transportation, stationary power generation (e.g., energy systems, back-up power), and portable devices, the focus is on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. For larger-scale energy generation, the focus is on the solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), which can, in some cases, directly use natural gas or other hydrocarbons as fuels. 

Codes, Standards and Safety

The successful global commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells depends on internationally accepted codes and standards. These will help to increase the experience, knowledge and confidence of local, regional, and national officials in the use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and facilitate the development of regulations. R&D supports the development of performance-based, rather than product-specific, codes and standards. 

International collaboration in this area is essential.  Canada has played a leading role as chair of the ISO Technical Committee 197 (Hydrogen Technologies) and as a strong contributor to the IEA Hydrogen Implementing Agreement Task 19. Task 19 participants have been working to identify the physical properties of hydrogen which impact the issue of safety. 

Canada has also developed the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code.   Published by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) as a National Standard of Canada, the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code (CHIC) [CAN/BNQ 1784-000] will help pave the way for a greater use of hydrogen as an energy carrier by guiding safe design and facilitating the approval process of hydrogen installations across Canada.

The following are examples of significant accomplishments that are helping to build Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry. Demonstration projects in Canada and other IPHE partner countries are featured on Canada's Demonstration & Deployment page.

Canadian Fuel Cell Commercialization Roadmap

In 2003, Canada released its first commercialization roadmap. The roadmap was aimed at accelerating full-scale commercialization of Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to capture benefits from substantial industrial investments in research and development and to develop long-term solutions to meet Canada’s climate change goals. In 2008, Canada updated the Canadian Fuel Cell Commercialization Roadmap. The update begins by outlining why hydrogen and fuel cells are considered an essential part of the future low carbon energy systems for transportation and stationary power as well as an energy innovation in portable electronics. It continues by providing an overview of global hydrogen and fuel cell markets as background and context for the activities of the Canadian industry.

Hydrogen Village

The Hydrogen Village in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was a public/private partnership demonstrating and deploying various hydrogen production and delivery techniques as well as fuel cells for stationary, transportation (mobile) and portable applications. The program, was funded by Hydrogen Village Members, Natural Resources Canada and the Government of Ontario, was in operation from April 2004 to March 2008.

Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program

car imagehe Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program was a collaborative five-year vehicle deployment and evaluation activity involving the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Ford Motor Company USA, Ford Motor Company of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. The program, for the first time, put limited production fuel-cell-powered electric drive vehicles into the hands of selected Canadian users for independent operation and evaluation under real-world conditions. Located in the British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, the vehicle demonstration program began in April 2005 and sunset in March 2010. Vehicle users included Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, Ballard Power Systems, BC Hydro, BC Transit, Brown Bros. Ford, Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, City of Vancouver, City of Surrey and Powertech Labs.

Hydrogen Highway

The British Columbia Hydrogen Highway (HH) was launched in March 2004 as a large-scale, coordinated demonstration and deployment program for mobile, stationary, portable, and micro hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Projects under the HH umbrella included: the Integrated Waste Hydrogen Utilization Project located in North Vancouver; BC Transit operated hydrogen fuelling station in Victoria; Powertech Labs station in Surrey; Pacific Spirit Station in Vancouver; and, the Whistler station to support the 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses that were operated by BC Transit during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games until the end of March, 2014.

The HH received one of the first "Sustainability Stars" recognizing sustainability innovations in economic, social and environmental initiatives awarded by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Gateway

In early 2008, a technology demonstration and exhibit centre showcasing Canada's world-leading hydrogen and fuel cell industry was officially opened. The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Gateway was located at the National Research Council (NRC) Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation in Vancouver, and was conceived through a public-private partnership between the NRC, Natural Resources Canada, Industry Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the Canadian Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association. 

2010 Olympics – First Bus Delivered as part of World’s Largest Development of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses

The first of 20 buses were delivered and successfully tested as part of the world largest hybrid electric fuel cell bus fleet. The bus was part of BC Transit’s project to demonstrate sustainable transportation technologies for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, B.C. The twenty new hybrid electric fuel cell buses and two Hydrogen Highway fuelling stations were put into service in 2010 at Whistler, Vancouver and Victoria. The low-floor buses capabilities include of 500 km, a top speed of 90 km/h and a life expectancy of 20 years. They were the sixth generation of a fuel cell buses developed in Canada. Several Canadian companies were involved in this project such as Ballard Power Systems, Dynetek Industries, Hydrogenics Corporation, New Flyer Industries, Questair Technologies, Air Liquide Canada, and Sacre-Davey Engineering.

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Directory

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Directory is a free public on-line database of information on researchers and facilities in Canada. The purpose of the Research Directory is to increase the visibility, researcher collaboration and use of Canadian research and laboratory services in hydrogen and fuel cell technology.   See:

Establishment of AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation

AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation (AFCC) is a private Vancouver-based automotive fuel cell technology company founded in 2008 and owned 50.1% by Daimler AG and 49.9% by Ford.  AFCC was created to focus on fuel cell research, development and design specifically for automotive applications. AFCC is working closely with Daimler and Ford to advance automotive fuel cell technology.

Establishment of the Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Manufacturing Facility

In 2011, Daimler announced that Vancouver, Canada had been selected at the location of choice for the establishment of an automated fuel cell stack (engine) manufacturing facility which was named Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC).   MBFC was opened in June 2012 and it’s mandate is to determine how to manufacture FC stacks, on an industrial scale, at an affordable price.


Demonstration & Deployment (Read more) - Last updated April 2009


Ergon Energy

Currently, the project is being run by Ergon Energy, a Queensland-based electricity distributor. Ergon Energy has identified distributed generation as a way it can maintain quality power supply to its customers in a sustainable manner. Ergon Energy selected hydrogen fuel cell technology to demonstrate the concept of distributor-owned, residentially sized generation for network support.

Located in Cairns Queensland, the trial connects a Plug Power GenCore fuel cell through an inverter to supply electricity directly to the power network. The project is examining technology selection and procurement, regulatory issues for using fuel cells and hydrogen in Queensland, fueling, and connection of the fuel cell to the grid.  Ergon Energy intends to gain experience using fuel cells for grid support and assess the potential role of fuel cells as a future stationary energy option in Australia.


Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company, is trialling a 5kw fuel cell system at its headquarters in Melbourne. The fuel cell is being tested as a potential complementary technology for back up power at remote solar powered sites.

Past Projects

Two demonstration projects, the Perth Ecobus Fuel Cell Bus Trial and the Australian Antarctic Division Hydrogen Demonstration Project at Mawson Base in Antarctica, both finished in 2007.






Total of 2 stationary fuel cells (size to be advised)


None reported


Perth Ecobus Fuel Cell Bus Trial
National Hydrogen Materials Alliance (NHMA)


Australia has developed a Hydrogen Technology Roadmap and a Hydrogen Activity Statement to assess Australia's hydrogen research capabilities and strengths and to identify the actions Australia could take to prepare for the emergence of a hydrogen economy.