Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1371 ..
The ACT government was pleased to be a founding partner. We were approached by the Smart Energy Council, which is Canberra based. It is involved in a number of projects in the ACT but also does a lot of work nationally. We felt it was appropriate to help get this off the ground to make sure that it could get underway and provide that certification scheme, which I think will have international implications.
It will be another source of reputation building for the ACT. It will be another place where the ACT’s renewable energy expertise can play its role. I think it will help create the potential for future jobs here in the ACT.
MR BRADDOCK: Minister, what is the future for hydrogen refuelling in Canberra?
MR RATTENBURY: We recently opened the ACT’s—and in fact Australia’s first publicly available—hydrogen refuelling station in the ACT. There are a range of projects happening here in the ACT, particularly partnerships at the ANU looking into hydrogen issues. There is also some private sector work taking place here in the ACT.
Whilst I do not think the ACT will ever be a significant producer of hydrogen—I think that will happen much more in places like South Australia and Western Australia, where there is a large excess night-time supply of renewable energy from wind farms and the like and daytime supply from solar farms—I think the ACT can really position itself as a centre of excellence for research in the hydrogen space and also as a customer for hydrogen. Certainly, with our fleet of 20 hydrogen vehicles, the first 20 hydrogen vehicles registered in Australia, we are a place where a lot of testing, research and knowledge development is going on.
MS CLAY: Minister, what is the role of hydrogen in our energy mix going forward, and what do you see as the role of government in that?
MR RATTENBURY: That is a very interesting question. There is some uncertainty. People see a lot of potential for hydrogen. The ACT government certainly does. What the applications will be a matter of both technological development and market supply development. For example, in the transport space there are different views about how much hydrogen will be part of the fleet. Some think that we will see a lot more hydrogen cars; others think hydrogen will play a bigger role in heavy vehicle transport. There is potential for hydrogen to fuel large industrial applications. There are a range of possibilities.
While it is not clear, what the ACT government wants to do is make sure that we are in the game, that we are part of the discussions, that we are capturing the opportunities here in the ACT. As I touched on earlier, I think that will predominantly be in the research, testing and policy development space, but we are very keen to make sure that we are building on our reputation as a centre of clean energy excellence and capturing the opportunities that are there for the ACT.
MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. We have received concerns over an apparent decline in availability of parking facilities