Photo of manufacturing workers working with metal in a factory.

The government will support Australian green metals production as a priority under the Future Made in Australia National Interest Framework. It’s part of a suite of measures to make Australia a renewable energy superpower. These will capitalise on our comparative advantages, boost investment, build sovereign capability and create jobs.

Australian iron, steel, alumina and aluminium are mainstays of the economy, providing employment for 39,000 Australians. They demonstrate the tangible benefit of making things in Australia, backing local construction, defence, transport and infrastructure projects, as well as export markets.

A 2023 Accenture report showed that ‘greening’ these metals can provide up to a $122 billion boost to the economy by 2040. This would also be a sizeable win in the global fight against climate change. 

Production of these metals currently represents about 13% of emissions from global energy systems (direct and indirect). We can accelerate the net zero transition by reducing barriers to renewable energy investment. For example, by reducing the ‘green premium’ of going green early.

Australia has significant potential to become one of the lowest-cost producers of green metals. We can do this by leveraging our:

  • existing metals expertise
  • abundant renewable energy resources
  • access to bulk raw materials
  • skilled workforce
  • strengths in research and development
  • proximity to fast growing Indo-Pacific markets.

This Budget’s measures aim to foster and encourage private sector investment in this priority industry to harness these opportunities.

Accelerating innovation in green metals

The government will provide $1.7 billion over 10 years from 2024-25 to support priority sectors through the Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund. It will support innovation, commercialisation, pilot programs and early-stage development. This includes grants to accelerate novel, innovative and first-of-kind technologies and facilities linked to green metals production, such as off-grid energy solutions. 

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will administer the fund with support from our department. 

Building industry foundations

Our department will receive $18.1 million over 6 years from 2024-25 for Green Metals Foundational Initiatives to expedite the emerging Australian green metals industry.

This will cover:

  • establishing a green metals industry and research collaboration network
  • enhanced monitoring of Australia’s competitiveness in global green metals markets by developing circular economy options for metals, for example enhanced use of scrap metals.

We are now consulting on barriers and opportunities for a thriving green metals industry

Supporting green metals production

Our department, with the Treasury, will consult on further options to accelerate decarbonisation and position Australia as a world-leader in green metals production.

Guaranteeing green metal origins

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water will expand the Guarantee of Origin scheme to include green metals. The scheme measures and certifies the emissions intensity of a green product in the manufacturing process and the energy used.

Scaling up hydrogen for green metals

The government is also investing in a $2 billion expansion of Hydrogen Headstart and introducing a Hydrogen Production Tax Credit. This will scale this renewable energy sector quickly and reduce the early costs of a critical input to green metal production.