As global carbon dioxide concentrations inexorably climb and the planet continues to warm, the need for a clean, renewable, carbon-free energy source is becoming urgent.

One such solution to our energy dilemma is hydrogen.

Hydrogen can be extracted from water using solar electricity and later used to power a fuel cell, or even an internal combustion engine.

A fuel cell converts hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to electricity which can drive an electric car or truck or train.

And the entire process is carbon neutral.

Karratha is an ideal location for a hydrogen industry because we have plenty of sun and un-used flat land to produce the solar electricity, plus existing gas export facilities to export the hydrogen.

The City sees this as an astounding opportunity for Karratha, as it is a clean, infinitely sustainable industry that will employ local people in the long term and provide a major export product for our nation. For this reason, council has been promoting Karratha as a hydrogen center for many years.

So we were excited last week to find that we were chosen by National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) as one of 13 Regional Hydrogen Technology Clusters across the country.

This will provide grant funding to assist in the development of a hydrogen industry in Karratha, enabling us to work collaboratively to assist the development of hydrogen production, storage and delivery technology and driving a hydrogen supply chain in the Pilbara.

Deloitte estimates a globally competitive hydrogen industry could increase Australia’s GDP by up to $26 billion: with this support from NERA, the State Government and multiple key industry stakeholders, the City will be doing a lot of work on hydrogen over the next twelve months.