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Many other technologies have a strong transformative potential and are likely to play an important role in Australia’s transition to lower emissions (Table 1). This includes helping to realise the potential and intended impact of priority low emissions technologies.

Many of these technologies are already the focus of existing policies and institutions. For example, delivery of the National Hydrogen Strategy will support development of hydrogen refuelling, low emissions ammonia, low emissions building and industrial heating, and hydrogen enabled appliances.

The Government will continue to monitor global learning rates, research, and investment trends for these technologies. ARENA and the CEFC will continue to work with these technologies consistent with their legislative mandates and their efforts to achieve stretch goals for priority low emissions technologies. The Government welcomes stakeholder engagement on these technologies prior to the second Low Emissions Technology Statement in late 2021, particularly to aid consideration of whether any emerging and enabling technologies should be elevated to become priority low emissions technologies.

Table 1: Emerging technologies

Technology Group

Description

Vehicle charging and refuelling infrastructure

Technologies that enable the rapid, convenient and widespread refuelling of battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles

 

Generation enablers

Technologies that support the grid to integrate more renewable generation (e.g. virtual power plants, vehicle to grid, micro grids, and synthetic inertia)

Innovative generation

Hybrid systems for off-grid or fringe-of-grid uses in agriculture or mining, solar thermal for use in manufacturing and mining

Energy efficiency

Providing the same service with less energy

Next generation solar PV

Higher efficiency solar PV, enabling the same power to be delivered at substantially lower deployment cost

Abatement of fugitive methane

Capturing the emissions being ventilated from underground coal mines

Low emissions heat

Methods of producing heat with low emissions such as solar thermal, heat pumps and hybrid systems in mining and manufacturing

 

Demand response

Moving the demand for electricity to times when low cost and low emissions supply is plentiful, without impacting on the service the energy provides

Carbon capture and use

Using CO₂ emissions to produce products such as methanol

Low carbon materials

Products that are produced with fewer emissions compared to an alternative product

Waste-to-energy and recycling

Reducing landfill by recycling and using waste to generate electricity

Low emissions ammonia

Made from clean hydrogen and renewable electricity powered processing plants, is expected to be a vector for hydrogen exports

Low emissions cement

Cement that uses alternatives to limestone or carbon capture and storage to reduce emissions from the cement process

Livestock feed technologies

Forage feeds and feed supplements that reduce methane from cows and sheep

Raw materials processing efficiency

More efficient methods to process the raw materials mined in Australia

Hydrogen-enabled appliances

Commercial and home appliances that can operate with up to 100% hydrogen in the gas network

Enabling technologies and markets

Achieving large-scale deployment of the priority and emerging technologies will require a range of enabling technologies and activities. These technologies include:

  • smart meters, smart appliances, energy management systems and better sensors that allow consumers to make wiser choices about how they use energy and other carbon-intensive products
  • inverters, power conversion and demand management systems that allow every device that is connected to the electricity system to operate efficiently as part of an integrated system
  • HVDC, micro grids and standalone power systems (SAPS) that allow the long distance transmission of renewable energy and provide remote and regional industries and communities with reliable, competitively priced energy.

Other enablers include electricity market design (e.g. to incentivise demand response technologies), skills development, digitalisation, process integration, monitoring and evaluation, and infrastructure planning. Many of these enablers cut across all of the priority low emissions technologies.

The Government has also recently introduced amendments to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 to establish a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, to firm and enable continued world-leading investment in renewable energy without compromising energy affordability or reliability. This additional funding will enable investment in energy storage projects (such as pumped hydro and batteries), electricity generation, transmission and distribution, and grid stabilising technologies.

Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a crucial element of the enabling environment.

It is not a single technology but a characteristic of every technology and process. Through their technology investments, governments can help de-risk and bring down the upfront costs of new and emerging energy efficient technologies, so consumers can capture the ongoing savings they offer. These technology investments sit alongside broader enabling policies (such as minimum standards, building codes and consumer information and benchmarking), helping to overcome specific barriers to energy efficiency.

Improvements in energy efficiency are an important element of increasing productivity, particularly in industry. However, increasing productivity and competitiveness can increase output and total energy use – reinforcing the need to unlock new technologies that directly reduce emissions, as well as those that improve efficiency.

Australia has an opportunity to develop these new products and services such as peer-to-peer trading platforms, community energy platforms, energy management, smart inverters (particularly retro-fitting smarts to unsmart older inverters), provision of services, metering and network visibility. Australia is an ideal test bed for these new approaches given its world- leading deployment of distributed energy resources.

Energy Networks Australia

Energy management and digitization are crucial to achieving a low carbon economy. Digital technologies are set to make energy systems around the world more connected, intelligent, efficient, reliable and sustainable.

Schneider Electric Australia

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