UQ expert to lead Queensland’s hydrogen taskforce

25 Mar 2021

University of Queensland sustainable energy expert, Professor Peta Ashworth OAM, has been appointed by the Queensland Government to lead a new Hydrogen Taskforce.

Professor Ashworth, and her team of seven industry and academic advisors, will help fast-track the establishment of a sustainable hydrogen supply chain in Queensland.

“This is a great opportunity to continue to advance renewable energy solutions for Queensland and Australia to set a strong example for the world,” Professor Ashworth said.

“It makes sense for us to collaborate in this field, given the growing global interest in hydrogen and UQ’s strong track record in the research and deployment of renewable energy, combined with our unique social research investigating the social acceptance of energy technologies.

“Together, we can use this knowledge to progress a renewable energy industry for the health of our environment and communities,” she said.

The Hydrogen Taskforce brings together knowledge leaders with expertise in science, energy, international investment attraction and economic development, infrastructure planning, regulations, skills development and logistics.

Professor Ashworth said the first job of the Taskforce would be to assess the current state of play of Queensland’s hydrogen supply chain.

“Based on this, we will then prepare a plan that provides a clear line of sight to a sustainable hydrogen supply chain, including export, to be up and running by 2030 or earlier if possible,” Professor Ashworth said.

“We will also identify short and medium-term actions within the regulatory and planning landscape to facilitate the safe and sustainable development of Queensland’s next major energy commodity."

Professor Ashworth is currently Director of the Andrew N Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership and UQ’s Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures, a globally renowned leader in climate and energy technologies and sustainable energy, and has already played a role in the development of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said Professor Ashworth had a strong background in the social and environmental impacts of the adoption of energy technology, and what that means for the communities that use it.

“The Taskforce will leverage our traditional strengths in the resources sector, coupled with developing plans to utilise our existing public infrastructure such as pipeline corridors, power generators and ports so we can take renewable hydrogen to the world,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The Taskforce’s establishment dovetails the Queensland Government’s $60-million investment across multiple programs and initiatives that are growing the hydrogen industry and future hydrogen jobs in Queensland.”

Media: UQ Communications, Genevieve Worrell, g.worrell@uq.edu.au, +61 408 432 213.