The Morrison government is promising to commit hundreds of millions of dollars in bid to drive down Australia’s emissions and create about 2500 new jobs.
The Commonwealth promised to invest $539.2m in the 2021-22 budget in new clean hydrogen, carbon capture, use and storage projects (CCS/CCUS), vowing it would help support Australian industry, create employment and help cut emissions.
About $275.5m would accelerate the development of four additional clean hydrogen hubs in regional Australia and set up a clean hydrogen certification scheme, while $263.7m would support the development of CCS/CCUS projects and hubs.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the world was “changing rapidly” and Australia would need to be competitive in a “new energy economy”.
“We cannot pretend the world is not changing. If we do, we run the risk of stranding jobs in this country, especially in regional areas,” he said.
“It is essential we position Australia to succeed by investing now in the technologies that will support our industries into the future, with lower emissions energy that can support Australian jobs.
“There is a strong appetite from business for the new emissions reduction technologies that they know will be needed to run their operations and keep employing Australians and grow jobs for the future.
“World-leading projects like these are about cutting emissions and creating jobs.
“We want to make clean energy more affordable and reliable, while looking for ways our investments can get more people into work.”
Mr Morrison said low emission industries would mean more jobs and cheaper energy meant lower costs to businesses.
“Our technology-first approach will see Australia achieve its emissions reduction goals while continuing to grow our export industries and also supporting our trading partners’ efforts to decarbonise,” he said.
Minister Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the government aimed to meet its 2030 target of net zero emissions.
“The government’s investment will reduce technical and commercial barriers to deploying these technologies,” he said.
“It will encourage new large-scale investment from the private sector, creating jobs and supporting Australia’s economic recovery, particularly in regional areas.
“It’s a tangible example of our commitment to being a low-emissions technology leader and reducing emissions through technology not taxes, or imposing costs on households, businesses or the economy.
“Australia’s potential to supply our trading partners with low cost, clean energy and permanently and safely store emissions underground has our trading partners including Japan, South Korea and Singapore excited.”
The government is actively seeking to collaborate on low emissions technologies with Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and the US.
The government’s plan to create jobs, cut energy costs and reduce emissions – Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap – is expected to guide $18bn of government investment over the next 10 years.
It is also expected to drive about $70bn of new investment in low emissions technologies in Australia, support 130,000 jobs by 2030 and avoid about 250 million tonnes of emissions by 2040.