The federal government will on Tuesday outline plans to spend $18billion on new energy technology to help stop climate change and support 130,000 jobs over the next ten years.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor will reveal the government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement, detailing a bold plan to get emissions down and slow global warming without damaging the economy.
The statement will identify the technologies the government will target, including hydrogen fuel, electricity storage, low carbon steel, carbon capture and soil carbon.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor will identify the technologies he will target, including hydrogen and electricity storage (pictured is a computer-generated image of battery storage)
The federal government will on Tuesday outline plans to spend $18billion on new energy technology to help stop climate change and support 130,000 jobs. Pictured: Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right) is shown how to weld steel in Newcastle last week
The government will spend $18billion on research and development and expects the private sector and state governments to invest three to five times that amount, taking total investment to at least $50billion.
The investment is expected to support 130,000 jobs by 2030 especially in regional areas and sectors like steel and aluminium, industry, and agriculture.
Minister Taylor will say investment in technology – not a carbon tax – is the way to reduce emissions without harming the economy.
ScoMo’s green energy revolution
Hydrogen: Can be used to heat buildings, power factories and even run cars with no emissions
Electricity storage: Huge batteries can store energy generated by solar and wind power so it can be released at peak times
Low carbon materials: Steel and aluminium made by burning hydrogen instead of coal to reduce carbon emissions
Carbon capture: The process of capturing carbon dioxide from factories and power stations and storing it underground
Soil carbon: Growing more plants and trees to return carbon from the air to the soil
Labor’s controversial carbon price, which charged companies that emitted more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, only lasted two years before it was repealed by Tony Abbott in 2014.
‘History has also shown us that you don’t tax your way out of a challenge like this,’ Minister Taylor will say.
‘Let’s be clear – there are only two ways to reduce emissions.
‘You either suppress emissions intensive economic activities – usually through some version of taxation – or you improve them. There is no third way.
‘Australia can’t and shouldn’t damage its economy to reduce emissions.’
The government will also announce so-called stretch goals, which identify the price at which new technologies become competitive with existing ones.
It wants battery energy storage dispatched at under $100 per MWh to bring wind and solar power in line with today’s average wholesale price.
Carbon capture needs to cost under $20 per tonne to be cost effective, green steel must cost under $900 and green aluminium under $2,700 a tonne to be produced in line with today’s prices.
Hydrogen must cost $2 per kilogram to produce to make it competitive in applications such as producing ammonia, as a transport fuel and for firming electricity.
‘Getting these technologies right will strengthen our economy and create jobs,’ Minister Taylor will say.
‘This will significantly reduce global emissions, across sectors that emit 45 billion tonnes annually.
‘Australia alone will avoid 250 million tonnes of emissions by 2040.’
Last week Mr Morrison announced plans to spend cash on measures including solar-powered microgrids for farmers, a new $70million hydrogen export hub and more energy-efficient air-conditioning systems for regional pubs.
The centerpiece of Mr Morrison’s plan is to build a giant hydrogen export hub worth $70million where the gas can be shipped to countries around the world. Pictured: The Pilbara port in WA
Last week the prime minister announced a $52million package of measures to help companies and pubs become more energy efficient with new air-conditioning or roof solar panels. Pictured: The Grand Hotel in Warrandyte, Victoria
Some $30billion has been invested in renewable energy in Australia since 2017, with dozens of solar power and wind farms popping up around the country.
But Mr Morrison wants to do more to support newer technologies to drive down power bills, create jobs and reduce emissions.
The centerpiece of Mr Morrison’s plan is to build a giant hydrogen export hub worth $70million where the gas can be shipped to countries around the world including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Germany.
Potential locations include the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Darwin, north-west WA, Gladstone in Queensland, the Hunter Valley in NSW, Bell Bay in Tasmania and the Spencer Gulf in South Australia.
In the coming years Australia is set to become a major exporter of hydrogen which can be used to heat buildings, power factories and even run cars with no emissions.
Global demand for hydrogen is increasing and Australia has an abundance of it stored in natural gas, coal and biomass. One model predicts the industry will boost the Australian economy by $10billion and generate 16,000 jobs by 2040.
Mr Morrison will spend $67million on microgrid deployment projects in regional and remote communities across Australia. Microgrids are set up by farmers and mining companies to generate electricity using solar panels (pictured) and batteries instead of diesel generation
The government will set up a $50million Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund which will pay for projects to capture carbon emissions. Pictured: La Trobe Valley power station in Melbourne
Mr Morrison will also spend $67million on microgrid deployment projects in regional and remote communities across Australia.
Microgrids are set up by farmers and mining companies to generate electricity using solar panels and batteries instead of diesel generation. Farms on the NSW Central Coast have been deploying them to reduce their energy costs.
The prime minister will announce a $52million package of measures to help companies become more energy efficient with new air-conditioning or roof solar panels.
Some $12million of this will go to community organisations and another $12million will go to regional pubs.
The government will also set up a $50million Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund which will pay for projects to capture carbon emissions.
Carbon capture involves trapping carbon dioxide released from factories and power stations, transporting it on ships or in pipelines and pumping it down into depleted oil and gas fields.
Scientists believe carbon capture can potentially stop half the world’s carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.
Potential locations to store the carbon include Moomba in South Australia, the Surat/Bown Basins in Queensland, offshore at Latrobe Valley in Victoria, offshore at Darwin, the Pilbara/Carnarvon Basin in WA and Browse in WA.
As part of the government’s plan, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency will be handed $1.4billion over the next ten years and will be allowed to invest in new technologies such as soil carbon sequestration, carbon capture and storage and the production of green steel, which is made using hydrogen instead of coal.
Scott Morrison (pictured welding steel at a factory visit in Newcastle last week) will invest $18billion over the next ten years on new energy technologies
On Tuesday Mr Morrison said he stands ready to build a new gas-fired power station in the New South Wales Hunter Valley to keep power prices down as Australia emerges from the coronavirus-caused recession.
The prime minister wants to reform the gas market to stop Aussies getting ripped off while major producers send $49billion of gas a year overseas, mainly to Japan, China and South Korea.
He will require energy companies in New South Wales to makes plans to produce 1000MW of power by April 2021 – and if they don’t he will step in and build a new gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in the NSW Hunter Valley.
A new plant there would replace power generated by the Liddell Coal plant which is due to close in 2023.
If no replacement is found then prices could rise 30 per cent over two years, or $20 per megawatt hour to $80 in 2024 and up to $105 per megawatt hour by 2030.
‘If the energy companies choose to step up and make these investments to create that capacity – great. We will step back. If not – my government will step up and we will fill the gap,’ Mr Morrison said.
A new gas plant in the Hunter Valley would replace power generated by the Liddell Coal plant (pictured) which is due to close in 2023