Hydrogen hubs

Author: Kylee Unwin
hydrogen storage tanks

At a glance

With hydrogen now considered an important contributor to achieving global net zero emissions, there is a sense of urgency to achieve hydrogen production at scale. The International Energy Agency forecasts more than 500 megatonnes per annum of hydrogen production is required globally by 2050 to achieve emissions targets. Equivalent to more than three times the current global LNG industry, this presents a mammoth task for leaders to develop the capacity to match in such a short period of time.
With hydrogen now considered an important contributor to achieving global net zero emissions, there is a sense of urgency to achieve hydrogen production at scale.

In Australia, hydrogen hubs have emerged as catalysts to unlock wider economic benefits, particularly in the regions where they are being built. Hydrogen hubs can create economic uplift for local communities through job creation and help reduce carbon emissions in industries that are currently reliant on fossil fuel energy generation.

GHD has been involved in the early stages of several hydrogen hubs across Australia, including Port Bonython in South Australia, Bell Bay in Tasmania and the Middle Arm Sustainable Precinct in the Northern Territory, developing common elements that will accelerate development including establishing pathway approvals, financial & feasibility modeling and mapping industrial ecologies which is the notion of creating structures to enable an industrial precinct to transition their energy use across their ecosystem.

In the US, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is proposing to fund a hydrogen hub program administered by the Department of Energy (DOE). This program will provide USD8 billion over the next five years to develop at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs demonstrating the production, processing, delivery, storage and end-use of clean hydrogen.


Together with private and equity funding, there is unprecedented investment towards decarbonising the US’ power, transportation and industrial sectors via hydrogen. GHD is supporting a number of hubs throughout the country, including California, Michigan and New York. Our broad involvement in these hubs includes project ideation and origination through to technical design. The DOE funding will be a catalyst to spur hydrogen infrastructure development, increase demand and production, and reduce costs.

In Canada, export of low-carbon hydrogen and decarbonisation of existing hydrogen uses and hard-to abate industries is driving development in markets such as BC, Alberta, Sarnia-Lambton in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. GHD has been supporting private and public sector clients across Canada as part of hydrogen hub related developments; including: feasibility studies, strategies, technoeconomic modelling, preliminary project design, and a variety of funding applications.

Successful hydrogen hubs have ample access to land, water and energy infrastructure, human capital and in some locations, opportunities for export,” explains Kylee Unwin, Strategy & Markets Leader at GHD Advisory. “But these factors by themselves are not enough. To be successful, hydrogen hubs need to build support by emphasising the broader benefits to the community; accelerate use capacity for hydrogen in a wider range of products; and de-risk the development process by embedding more robust strategic approval frameworks and helping existing industries use hydrogen via methods such as blending.”
Kylee Unwin, Strategy & Markets Leader at GHD Advisory