To realise our vision, we need to tackle the big technology challenges and opportunities facing our country.
The opportunities we pursue should play to Australia’s strengths. The challenges recognise issues affecting consumers and businesses globally, including supply of affordable energy and supporting transformation of energy-intensive industries.
A common theme during stakeholder outreach was that our natural endowments – unmatched renewable energy and mineral resources, vast landmass, suitable geology, and close proximity to emerging markets – will continue to be the foundation of our prosperity as a low emissions economy.
This Statement’s priorities and approach are designed around these big technology challenges:
- Delivering more affordable, clean and reliable energy to households and industry for transportation, heating, production and power.
- Expanding production and increasing productivity, creating jobs and substantially reducing emissions from Australia’s primary industries.
- Preserving and expanding onshore manufacturing of energy-intensive products and capturing new export markets for low emissions commodities.
- Scaling geological and biological sequestration such that we provide globally significant permanent sequestration of CO₂.
Addressing these challenges and opportunities in an integrated way will set us on the path towards our overarching vision.
Affordable, clean and reliable energy is the cornerstone of improved productivity, competitiveness and lower emissions from industry. Lower energy costs will reduce pressure on household budgets and improve Australian quality of life. Low-cost and reliable energy will encourage more onshore energy-intensive manufacturing. Improved productivity and reduced emissions intensity will help us capture new opportunities in a global low emissions economy.
Finally, large-scale geological and biological sequestration will reduce hard-to-abate emissions by safely storing more carbon in Australia’s landscape. A strong focus by the Government on sequestration recognises these technologies can boost the productivity of Australia’s agriculture sector and provide decarbonisation pathways for new and existing industries, which will preserve jobs.
Australia’s comparative advantages provide a basis for reducing Australian emissions and for helping our overseas partners to lower their emissions through our clean energy exports (particularly Japan, South Korea and China).
Just as Australia is in an excellent position to lead the way in transforming energy systems to carbon-neutral methods, it could also do so for food production, leading to more sustainable and climate-smart systems.
Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering
Box 1: Low emissions export potential
Low emissions technologies could position Australia for over $30 billion a year of new export revenue from energy-intensive, low emissions products by 2040.
This scenario would see Australia developing into a world-leading exporter of hydrogen and a significant international producer of low emissions metals and industrial products.
The Grattan Institute’s recent Start with steel report estimated the potential for
$65 billion in export revenue, creating 25,000 manufacturing jobs in Queensland and New South Wales (assuming Australia captures 6.5% of the global steel market in 2050).