Discovery – Environment

Federal Government unveils low emissions technology roadmap

Low emissions technology roadmap and statement announced 

On 17 September, the Morrison Government announced a $1.9 billion investment package for future low emissions technologies development. The package includes: 

  • $1.62 billion for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), including $1.43 billion baseline over 10 years 
  • $95.4 million for new Technology Co-Investment Fund (recommended by the King Review), to support agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport sectors to adopt technologies that increase productivity and reduce emissions 
  • $50 million investment in the Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund 
  • $74.5 million for new Future Fuels Fund, to take advantage of opportunities offered by hydrogen, electric, and bio-fuelled vehicles 
  • $67 million for new microgrids in regional and remote communities 
  • $52.2 million to increase energy productivity in homes and businesses 
  • $70.2 million to support a grants program for hydrogen industry development, including setting up a hydrogen export hub (a key part of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy), research collaborations and international supply chain studies 
  • $24.6 million to reduce time taken to develop new Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) methods from 24 months to less than 12 months, involving industry in a co-design process 
  • Develop an offshore clean energy project development framework, and work to improve energy and emissions data reporting to support the delivery of future Low Emissions Technology Statements, together worth $40.2 million 
  • The mandate of ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will be revised to include new low-emissions technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, soil-carbon sequestration, and green-steel production. 

On 22 September, the Australian Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement was released. The Statement sets out five priority technologies and associated economic stretch goals: 

  1. Hydrogen production at less than $2 per kilogram 
  1. Long duration energy storage (6-8 hours or more) dispatched at less than $100 per megawatt hour 
  1. Low carbon materials: Low emissions steel produced at less than $900 per tonne, and low emissions aluminium produced at less than $2,700 per tonne 
  1. Carbon capture and storage (carbon dioxide (CO2) compression, hub transport and storage) at less than $20 per tonne CO2 
  1. Soil carbon measurement at less than $3 per hectare per year. 

Following the announcement of the Statement, the Australian Government will now commence a set of key actions including: 

  • Establishment of a Technology Investment Framework 
  • Commencement of a soil carbon innovation challenge 
  • Introduction of legislative amendments to ARENA and the CEFC 
  • Establishment of a Technology Investment Advisory Council.