Academic and government research reveals a widespread lack of knowledge around hydrogen, its properties and its uses. Broader interest in hydrogen has increased significantly over the past few years, which poses substantial implications for households and small businesses as the hydrogen economy develops.
Despite the significance of hydrogen and the impacts it may have on the lives of energy consumers, barriers to accessible educational and informational materials persist. To combat this, we have run five interactive webinars in 2022, reaching over 1,700 audiences. The webinars include:
The Victorian Hydrogen Hub is committed to boosting public understanding and community engagement in order to advance a hydrogen economy. We are currently working with industry, PhD, master and undergraduate students to research:
- the use of information technology to make hydrogen technology demonstrators widely available and accessible
- stakeholders’ views to identify their hydrogen information needs and to support Australian public’s capacity in making informed decisions about hydrogen
- the inclusion of and equity for vulnerable energy customers impacted by hydrogen blending
- public understanding of different hydrogen generation technologies (e.g. green, grey and blue hydrogen)
- public acceptance of hydrogen and its contingency on the underpinning generation technology
On 6 April 2022, Research Fellow Dr Kim Beasy presented on hydrogen technologies to Year 11 and 12 students at Hobart College. The discussion on how green hydrogen would feature in Australia's agenda of reducing emissions and transitioning to renewable energies was important in building an appetite among young people for working in and with hydrogen technologies.
We are also connecting with younger audiences as the next generation is crucial in preparing for the hydrogen economy. People aged 18 to 24 – the main age group among Swinburne students – will be instrumental in creating sustainable manufacturing practices and storing clean energy from renewable sources in their future jobs.
To engage with this segment, the Victorian Hydrogen Hub has participated in activities such as Swinburne's Welcome Back Week – a two-day in-person event to engage with current and prospective students to excite this next generation about the future of hydrogen.
We shared how hydrogen could be used to power vehicles, toys and barbecues. The CSIRO hydrogen vehicle was displayed with a CSIRO representative on hand to answer questions. We also conducted interview to gauge the public perception of hydrogen vehicles.
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