Image: Gorkie/Private Media

The government makes it sound as if Australia is on the cusp of a hydrogen boom, with legions of companies springing up to take the place of the dying fossil-fuel industry. But a hard look at the status of these projects tells a very different story.

Of the 65 projects under way in Australia, most are years away from starting construction, let alone pumping out electricity. Only five are up and running, and eight should be completed in the next two years.

The five that are operating include two state government and university test sites in the ACT, a clean energy hub backed by energy company ATCO in Western Australia, an Australian-Japanese project exporting hydrogen to Japan from the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, and a solar and hydrogen centre at Griffith University in Queensland.