Australia joins US, UK to make low emissions energy
Australia will spend half a billion dollars partnering with investors looking to spend big developing affordable low emissions energy technology in resource regions like the Hunter, Illawarra and Port Kembla.
The federal government is already talking with South Korea, Japan, Germany, the US and the UK about partnering to develop new technologies including hydrogen, battery storage, green steel, aluminium and carbon capture LNG.
Research and development of small modular nuclear reactor technologies with the US and UK are also a potential opportunity for Australia, which could contribute to materials research, safety and waste disposal technologies.
For every dollar of the $565.8 million the federal government has committed in the 2021-22 Budget over the next eight years, it expects between $3 and $5 more will be spent on domestic energy projects by private companies and foreign countries.
The investment is expected to create about 2,500 jobs across research and demonstration projects.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said technology partnerships were key to the world finding global solutions to climate challenges, creating new jobs and protecting those in heavy industries and regional areas.
"These partnerships mean Australia will keep leading the way in low emissions technology that also means more jobs here at home," he said.
"The world is changing and we want to stay ahead of the curve by working with international partners to protect the jobs we have in energy-reliant businesses, and create new jobs in the low emissions technology sector."
Mr Morrison said the government was seeking to "take advantage" of new export opportunities, rather than reducing emissions by shutting down industries like "agriculture, aluminium, coal and gas".
Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the world looked to Australia as a leader in new and emerging energy technologies.
"But Australia won't be able to make these technologies globally scalable and commercially viable all on our own," he said.
"Rapid progress and innovation can be achieved when the world works together towards a common goal.
"We need to bring a laser-like focus and collaborative effort to accelerating the development of practical technology pathways."
The funds will be administered through competitive grants as well as projects selected or commissioned by the federal government.
It is hoped countries like South Korea and Japan, which already import significant resources from Australia, would be particularly interested in developing and purchasing lower emissions energy options such as hydrogen.
Australia's Special Adviser on Low Emissions Technology, Dr Alan Finkel, will play a key role in brokering new international partnerships.
"So much of what we value in society - living standards, jobs, entertainment - depends on technology," he said.
"The global challenge is to continue to enjoy the benefits of technology without the associated emissions."
Dr Finkel said partnerships with other "like-minded countries" on development and deployment of low emissions technologies would "accelerate their adoption".
Originally published as Australia joins US, UK to make low emissions energy