28 June 2023

Hydrogen power is emerging as an important new technology in Australia's race to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel energy generators, with opportunities for landholders along hydrogen supply lines.

New technologies, such as dual-fuel power plants, which blend natural gas and hydrogen together in small scale power plants, are likely to become more common as more natural gas becomes available in the domestic market and hydrogen production increases with Government funded research and development.

The export market for hydrogen also presents opportunities for the development of hydrogen factories in areas of natural gas production where gas is used to separate hydrogen in water before the refined hydrogen is exported in a way similar to natural gas.

Landholders with natural gas wells or pipeline infrastructure on their land may find themselves with opportunities for further development.

The latest wave of renewable energy development in Queensland has seen large swathes of land tied up for future wind and solar projects, usually in areas of existing electricity infrastructure. The development of a hydrogen industry would likely follow a similar pattern in areas of existing gas infrastructure.

Landholders should be wary of any approaches from hydrogen project proponents or other alternative energy providers. Rarely will a first offer be the best. A good agreement will not only offer an attractive income stream but also manage the risks, including potential effects of contamination of the land.

Thynne + Macartney’s Agribusiness team acts exclusively for landholders in alternative and renewable energy project negotiations.

This information is intended to provide a general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.

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