New Zealand’s hydrogen roadmap

MBIE is currently developing a roadmap to provide direction on the future role of hydrogen in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The roadmap will inform the New Zealand Energy Strategy, which is due to be finalised by the end of 2024.

New Zealand Energy Strategy

About hydrogen

Hydrogen is a clean energy carrier that emits minimal or no greenhouse gases when used. Like oil or gas, hydrogen can be produced and then stored for when energy is needed or transported and sold.

  • Energy is required to produce hydrogen. This can either be energy from renewable sources or energy from fossil fuels. Fossil gas is currently the main source of hydrogen production internationally, followed by coal.
  • Hydrogen produced from renewable sources is commonly called green hydrogen. The most proven method is electrolysis, which uses electricity to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water. Green hydrogen is a clean energy source when produced this way. The Government is mainly interested in exploring the potential of green hydrogen for New Zealand, but we are also open to future low and zero emissions production sources such as naturally occurring hydrogen and biogenic hydrogen.

With the right infrastructure, hydrogen can be used to power cars, trucks, planes, ships, buildings and factories. It can be used to store electricity for peak winter electricity demands, to generate off-grid electricity, and decarbonise industrial process heat.

The Hydrogen Roadmap

Development of a Hydrogen Roadmap was included as an action in the first Emissions Reduction Plan in 2022. The roadmap will outline the Government’s position on the future role of hydrogen in New Zealand and set out the pathway for establishing a hydrogen industry in Aotearoa New Zealand that will support the transition to net zero 2050.

It builds on the 2019 green paper 'A Vision for Hydrogen' and forms a pillar of the forthcoming New Zealand Energy Strategy (due by the end of 2024) alongside other projects including the Gas Transition Plan, Energy Market Measures project, Offshore Renewable Energy regulatory framework project, and the New Zealand Battery Project.

There are opportunities for green hydrogen to reduce emissions in areas that are hard to electrify, support regional economic transitions, and underpin our energy security and resilience.

In late 2023, MBIE sought feedback on the Interim Hydrogen Roadmap, which:

  • sets out the Government’s initial position on the opportunities for hydrogen in New Zealand’s energy transition
  • outlines actions the Government is taking to establish a sustainable and safe hydrogen industry in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • signals areas where the Government plans to do further work.

The consultation closed 2 November 2023, 5pm.

We received 81 submissions during consultation and work is currently underway to analyse feedback and identify themes.

All submissions provide us with valuable insight to inform our ongoing work programme. We plan to publish a summary report of the key themes in early 2024.

For more information, visit:

Hydrogen Economic Modelling Results report

This report was prepared to inform the Interim Hydrogen Roadmap, and explores the possible use cases for hydrogen in New Zealand’s energy transition out to 2050. It summarises the results of modelling for 5 different scenarios for hydrogen deployment, in order to demonstrate potential supply and demand volumes for hydrogen, likely costs and electricity generation and water input requirements. It also provides an assessment of how hydrogen could contribute to objectives around emissions abatement and decarbonisation, economic development and energy security and resilience.

Reissued version issued 15 December 2023

On 15 December 2023, we issued a revised version of the Hydrogen Economic Modelling Results report.

The revision corrects errors that were identified in the model after the public consultation period. Specifically, these errors resulted in potential emissions reductions relating to heavy road transport being underestimated.

Ernst & Young has now corrected these errors, conducted a further review to ensure there are no further inconsistencies and provided an updated report with a disclaimer notice that explains the changes and their effect on the scenarios in further detail.

Last updated: 15 December 2023