The Technology Investment Roadmap and its Low Emissions Technology Statements set out Australia’s technology-led approach to accelerating the development of technologies essential to achieving net zero emissions.
Our goal is to drive down the cost of a portfolio of low emissions technologies, because getting them to commercial parity with existing approaches will make them more attractive to consumers at home and abroad. Our approach is technology not taxes, because it’s the only way to reduce emissions without imposing new costs on households or businesses, or raising the price of existing energy sources.
To achieve this goal, we are investing more than $20 billion in new energy technologies over the coming decade, to drive between $80 billion and up to $120 billion of combined public and private investment and creating 160,000 jobs. Like the government’s 10-year funding model for infrastructure investment, we have adopted a decade-long funding model to bring forward private sector investment in low emissions technologies.
The government will continue to refine its investments over time. Since the release of the first statement (LETS 2020) in September 2020, we have committed an additional $1.7 billion in new funding across a range of areas including clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, soil carbon measurement and a series of international partnerships.
The release of LETS 2021, the second annual statement under the roadmap, is an important element of Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Annual reviews of our technology priorities and the investments we are making are part of our commitment to being accountable for progress under our Plan.
LETS 2021 expands the priorities set out in LETS 2020, adding a new priority technology and associated stretch goal, as well as identifying new actions the government will take to establish Australia as a leader in low emissions technologies.
Getting the cost of solar energy down to less than $15 per megawatt hour, around a third of today’s cost, will help us achieve dramatic cost reductions in clean hydrogen produced from electrolysis and in low emissions materials. Clean, low cost, bulk electricity supply will also help maintain Australia’s traditional advantage in affordable and reliable energy. Our continent has the highest levels of irradiation of any in the world and we have an incredible track record of driving innovation in solar photovoltaics, with more than 90% of solar panels manufactured around the world using Australian technology.
LETS 2021 also adds enabling infrastructure as a new technology category, which will focus on infrastructure to help deploy priority and emerging low emissions technologies at a commercial scale, including for electric vehicles.
I would like to thank the Chair of the Technology Investment Advisory Council, Dr Alan Finkel, and the other council members – Drew Clarke, Jo Evans, Grant King, David Parker, Justin Punch, Steven Skala, Alison Watkins, Shemara Wikramanayake and Ben Wilson – for their invaluable expertise and advice in developing this year’s statement.