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Technology-led plan to lower emissions, lower costs and support jobs

22 September 2020

The Morrison Government is committed to investing in the next generation of energy technologies that will deliver lower emissions, lower costs and more jobs.

Today, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor released the Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement.

The release of the Statement is the first milestone in Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap.

The Statement outlines five priority technologies and economic stretch goals to make new technologies as cost-effective as existing technologies. These are:

  • Hydrogen production under $2 per kilogram.
  • Long duration energy storage (6-8 hours or more) dispatched at less than $100 per MWh – this will enable reliable, firmed wind and solar at prices around the average wholesale electricity price of today.
  • Low carbon materials – low emissions steel production under $900 per tonne, low emissions aluminium under $2,700 per tonne.
  • CCS – CO₂ compression, hub transport, and storage under $20 per tonne of CO₂.
  • Soil carbon measurement under $3 per hectare per year – a 90% reduction from today’s measurement costs and would transform the economics of soil carbon projects for Australian farmers.

The Government will now commence eleven key actions:

  • Establishing a Technology Investment Framework to prioritise the Government’s investments in new technologies.
  • Investing $1.9 billion in a new energy technology package; establishing Australia’s first regional hydrogen export hub, a King Review Co-Investment Fund, a CCS Deployment Fund and a Future Fuels Fund to support new and emerging technologies.
  • Finalising new or revised Emissions Reduction Fund methods to support CCS and soil carbon within 12 months.
  • Commencing a soil carbon innovation challenge to rapidly reduce the cost of measuring the impact of new farming practices on soil carbon sequestration.
  • Introducing legislative reforms to ARENA and the CEFC to give their boards flexibility to respond to the Government’s priorities.
  • Requiring key agencies (ARENA, CEFC and the CER) to focus on accelerating the priority technologies.
  • Directing key agencies to publicly report on what action they are taking to accelerate the priority technologies.
  • Establishing a permanent Technology Investment Advisory Council, including the Chairs of key agencies, to advise on the development of the second Annual Statement. Annual Statements are the mechanism the Government will use to guide, track and measure the impact of our investments in new energy technologies.
  • Expanding Australia’s international collaboration with trading partners.
  • Conducting a review of legislative or regulatory barriers to technology uptake as part of the second annual Low Emissions Technology Statement.
  • Completing the development of Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy before COP26.

“The Government’s plan has three key focuses – lower emissions, lower costs and more jobs,” said Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor.

“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.

“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.

“The Government expects to invest more than $18 billion in low emissions technologies over the decade to 2030, in order to drive at least $50 billion of new investment over the next ten years."

Today’s announcement is backed by a comprehensive Technology Investment Framework that aims to leverage a 3-5x level of co-investment from the private sector and other levels of government.

The first Statement was prepared with advice from a panel of industry leaders, investors and researchers chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel and including Alison Watkins, Ben Wilson, Drew Clarke, Grant King, Jo Evans and Shemara Wikramanayake.

The Panel’s work was also informed by extensive stakeholder consultation – including around 500 written responses, and workshops with more than 150 businesses, researchers, community organisations and associations. 

Minister Taylor thanked the Panel for its contribution to the Technology Investment Roadmap.

The Low Emissions Technology Statement is available on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website: http://industry.gov.au/LETS2020

Media contact:

Minister Taylor's office: 02 6277 7120