Truckers hit by high fuel prices can look forward to a hydrogen highway connecting three eastern states in a concerted push for renewables for the industry.
In a landmark collaboration between NSW, Queensland and Victoria at an estimated cost of $20 million, four massive hydrogen refueling stations will initially be built between Sydney and Melbourne.
The highway along Australia’s busiest freight routes will link the Hume Highway, Pacific Highway and Newell Highway by 2026.
NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said the hydrogen highway will pave the way for the decarbonisation of the heavy transport industry to reduce the effects of climate change.
“Renewable hydrogen will increasingly become a competitive zero-emissions fuel option for our heavy-duty transport sector, giving our trucking industry an opportunity to decarbonize their fleets,” Kean said.
The accelerated push to stop using fossil fuels comes after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warned last month that Australia will experience more floods, bushfires and droughts and is at risk of losing entire ecosystems to climate change.
Queensland Energy Minister Mick De Brenni said this couldn’t come at a better time when fuel prices are soaring in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
“When you consider the impacts of the COVID pandemic and international conflicts, it is clear that Australia must achieve energy independence,” he said.
Victoria’s Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, noted that the “historic collaboration” between the three states “will revolutionize Australia’s busiest freight corridor, lighting the way towards a zero-emission transport sector.”
The $20 million injection will also fund Australia’s first long-distance hydrogen fuel cell electric freight trucks.
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