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Australia, the world’s top coal exporter, plans to invest over US$13 billion (18 billion Australian dollars) in low emission technologies through 2030, as it aims to deliver lower emissions, lower costs, and more jobs, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said on Tuesday.
The expected investment is set to drive at least US$36 billion (AUS$50 billion) of new investment over the next decade, according to government estimates.
Australia will be working to have a regional hydrogen export hub, support carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, develop energy storage, and work on cutting the costs of low-emissions steel and aluminum production.
Yet, unlike some other governments of industrialized nations, Australia is not setting any net-zero emission targets.
“Getting the technologies of the future right will support 130,000 jobs by 2030, and avoid in the order of 250 million tonnes of emissions in Australia by 2040,” Minister Taylor said in the Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement.
“If these technologies achieve widespread deployment globally, they will significantly reduce emissions from energy, transport, agriculture and heavy industry. These sectors account for 90 per cent of global emissions and emit 45 billion tonnes each year,” Taylor said.
Despite short-term challenges such as the coronavirus-crisis, Australia is set to become the world’s leader in the energy transition in the long term, achieving the fastest transition to an overwhelming share of renewable sources in its energy mix, data and analytics company GlobalData said last month.
Australia has a strong pipeline of solar and wind power projects set to bring investor confidence in the market, GlobalData said.
Under the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) 20-year blueprint for Australia’s power generation, by 2034-35, renewable generation may, at times, deliver 85 percent of generation. By 2040, in the step-change scenario, variable renewable energy could account for up to 94.2 percent of electricity generation.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com