Govt to forge global clean energy deals

Australia’s former Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel will take the lead in brokering new international clean energy partnerships as part of a $566 million Budget commitment.

Dr Alan Finkel

It’s a role that was flagged when Dr Finkel was appointed as the nation’s first special adviser to the government on low emissions technology earlier this year.

Making the announcement on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Dr Finkel is already talking to potential partners as the government ramps up collaboration with nations including Germany, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the UK and US.

“The partnerships will leverage $3 to $5 of co-investment for every dollar invested and Australia is in discussion with potential partners that will build on our already strong relationships,” the PM said.

Seeking international partners

“They mean Australia will keep leading the way in low emissions technology that also means more jobs here at home.

“The world is changing and we want to stay ahead of the curve by working with international partners to protect the jobs we have in energy-reliant businesses, and create new jobs in the low emissions technology sector.”

Energy and emissions reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the deals will advance the goals of the 2020 Technology Investment Roadmap and boost the export of home-grown technologies and energy.

The roadmap is expected to guide $18 billion of investment over the next decade and drive $70 billion of investment in low emissions technologies in the Australia by 2030.

$540m for hydrogen, CCS hubs

It comes a day after Mr Morrison announced $275 million in the May Budget to develop four new hydrogen hubs as well as $267 million for carbon capture use and storage initiatives.

US President Joe Biden

 Mr Taylor said regions capable of producing and innovating around hydrogen, such as the NSW Hunter, Bell Bay down in Tasmania, the Pilbara and  Gladstone in Queensland, were among the top contenders for the hubs.

He said the hubs would feature industry communities that could build global supply chains across for hydrogen and related products.

The announcements come ahead of a global climate action summit organised by US President Joe Biden which is being live streamed from 10pm (AEST) on Thursday April 22.

The Leaders Summit on Climate, to which 40 world leaders have been invited, will underscore the urgency and economic benefits of stronger climate action. 

Mr Morrison said he wanted Australia and hydrogen technology to be synonymous around the world.

“It’s a key point I’ll be making at the Climate Summit, that Australia is really putting the flag right out there when it comes to ensuring that we lead the world in hydrogen technology.”

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