Australia backs hydrogen in first low emissions technology statement

Out-Law News | 29 Sep 2020 | 10:56 am | 1 min. read

The Australian government has published its first low emissions technology statement, setting out priority investment areas as part of the country's goal to lower emissions, lower costs and create more jobs.

The statement (44-page / 6.6MB PDF) is the first publication following on from Australia's 'technology investment roadmap', its framework to prioritise government investment in new and emerging technologies.

The statement sets out five priority technologies: clean hydrogen; long duration electricity storage; low emissions steel and aluminium production; carbon capture and storage; and soil carbon sequestration. It also contains economic 'stretch goals', at which each of these technologies will be seen as being as cost-effective as existing technologies.

Varma George

George Varma

Partner

It is positive to see the government's intention to encourage both public and private investment in clean technologies, as well as to streamline and reduce regulatory barriers for private entrants.

Perth-based renewable energy expert George Varma of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, welcomed the "tangible commitment towards investment" in the statement, particularly the inclusion of clean hydrogen.

"In particular, it is positive to see the government's intention to encourage both public and private investment in these technologies, as well as to streamline and reduce regulatory barriers for private entrants," he said.

"We have said in the past that we see great potential for Australia to become a world leader in clean hydrogen. The first low emissions technology statement, together with Western Australia's recent call for expressions of interest for the Oakajee Renewable Hydrogen project, demonstrate that we are well on the way to achieving that goal," he said.

Angus Taylor, Australia's energy and emissions reduction minister, said: "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% of global emissions and emit 45 billion tonnes each year," he said.

"The government expects to invest more than A$18 billion (US$12.63bn) in low emissions technologies over the decade to 2030, in order to drive at least A$50bn of new investment over the next 10 years," he said.