The Sydney Energy Forum’s two-day event took place on 12-13 July, aiming to support a global energy transformation with clean energy technologies and new connections between the investors, business and governments.

The forum aimed to support new industry connections with a focus on innovations in key clean energy technologies such as solar, hydrogen, critical minerals and batteries.

Ministers from the United States, Japan, India, Indonesia, and the Pacific Island nation of Samoa attended the forum along with leaders of major companies that are committed to low emissions technologies.

The forum was co-hosted by the Australian Government and International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Indo-Pacific region accounts for about half of the world’s energy consumption and emissions, but is also a key source of the raw materials, products and technologies vital to reducing emissions.

The current global energy crisis has emphasised the need for collaboration on energy security at the centre of the renewable energy transformation.

The Federal Government was encouraged by the response to the updated national pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The pledge provides the solid ground for shared economic collaboration.

Australia is demonstrating that a transition to a net zero economy can occur whilst also providing clean, affordable and secure energy to countries in the region for their own transitions.

Reducing emissions while growing economies and adding jobs is a challenge that requires regional and global cooperation.

The current global energy crisis has further emphasised the need for collaboration and to position energy security at the centre of the renewable energy transformation.

Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the outstanding list of international attendees is a global vote of confidence in Australia and the commitment to a clean energy future.

“I am proud to be leading a Government that is co-hosting the Sydney Energy Forum which will showcase Australia as a world leader in low emissions technology,” Mr Albanese said.

“This forum is an example of Australia leading the way in the Indo-Pacific and the world on an achievable path to emissions reduction targets.”

Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, said he wants to ensure Australia seizes the job opportunities created by the world’s climate emergency.

“Australia has an opportunity to be a renewable energy superpower by tapping into our solar, wind and skilled energy workforces to drive clean manufacturing and energy exports in the region,” Mr Bowen said.

Mr Bowen and US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, signed the Australia-US Net Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership.

The partnership will accelerate development and deployment of zero emissions technology, aiming to deliver on 2030 targets and reach net zero by 2050.

Tours of EnergyAustralia’s Tallawarra A and B power station
EnergyAustralia welcomed a delegation from Sydney Energy Forum, including Assistant Climate Change and Energy Minister, Jenny McAllister, to view the construction of its Tallawarra B power station – Australia’s first carbon offset gas and hydrogen power station.

Ms McAllister was joined by more than 50 executives from a range of Australian and global corporations and international agencies.

Ross Edwards, EnergyAustralia’s Trading, Transition and Reputation Executive, said he was pleased to be able to show the group around the company’s flagship project in the New South Wales Illawarra region.

“The 316MW power station will help to transform Australia’s energy system when it’s completed in time for the summer of 2023/24 – just as Liddell Power Station retires. The events over the past weeks have demonstrated how critical diverse and secure forms of energy like Tallawarra B will be for the people of New South Wales,” said Mr Edwards.

“Tallawarra B will fire up quickly, within 30 minutes, stepping in when the supply of renewable energy is low to help keep the lights on for around 150,000 homes. It’s just what our modern energy system needs – fast and flexible generation that complements renewables.

“Tallawarra B is being built with the support of the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments. We’re thankful for their leadership and commitment and appreciate Senator McAllister’s attendance.

“We see the Tallawarra B project as helping the government achieve its hydrogen agenda, by kick starting demand for hydrogen and contributing to making the Illawarra a hydrogen hub.”

The delegation also toured EnergyAustralia’s existing gas-fired Tallawarra A power station.

“Tallawarra A has really proved its worth over recent weeks, running at around seven times the volume compared with the same period last year. It played a vital role in supplying power to our New South Wales customers during the energy crisis.”

EnergyAustralia and GE have been working closely to provide GE’s hydrogen-ready gas turbine technology at Tallawarra, which will be GE’s first 9F unit to operate on a blend of hydrogen and natural gas globally.

GE Australia President, Sam Maresh, said, “The visit represented a prime opportunity to showcase how world-class technology was playing a crucial role in Australia’s energy transition. Tallawarra B will be the first large-scale gas-powered power station built in New South Wales for more than a decade and it will boast the most advanced technology so there was incredible interest from the delegation about what was happening on the ground in Australia.”

Prime Minister’s Forum address
During the Prime Minister’s address to the Forum, Mr Albanese said all attendees had come together in a “time of great uncertainty” but said there was a unity of purpose at the forum and an understanding “our future is linked”.

“As Prime Minister, I am committed to renewing Australia’s standing in our region,” Mr Albanese said.

“This work is underway, demonstrating our government’s commitment that each action we take, each policy we pursue in this space, will be driven by a larger vision of our shared future.

“A future with new clean-energy industries and jobs as its foundation, powered by renewable energy produced in Australia.”

Mr Albanese also spoke of the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“We’ve committed to reduce emissions to 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, putting Australia back on track to achieve net zero by 2050.

“But our plan for tackling climate change encompasses so much more. At its core it is a plan for economic reform and economic growth.”

Mr Albanese said the plan will unlock $52 billion of private sector investment in Australian industries, create 604,000 extra jobs, with five out of six new jobs to be created in regional Australia and, by the end of the decade, renewable energy will make up 82 per cent of the National Energy Market.

The Indo-Pacific is the leading target for private investment in clean energy, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of global investment in 2021, and Mr Albanese said this will only increase “if the world is to reach net zero emissions by 2050, our investment in clean energy must more than triple”.

“Meeting this demand will require a renewable energy supply around six times greater than our region’s current annual solar and wind energy generation,” Mr Albanese said.

“The numbers shouldn’t daunt us. They should energise us.

“If we empower businesses, scientists, engineers, workers, and the private sector to work together across our region, we can unleash investment and innovation in clean energy at a scale we have never seen before.

“It is essential that the unprecedented levels of investment in clean energy technologies required over the coming decades unlocks more diverse and secure supply chains than we have today.

“Greater diversity and security of critical minerals extraction and processing, greater diversity of clean technology manufacturing, and security of clean energy supply are essential for managing supply and strategic risks.”

The Prime Minister reaffirmed that the Australian Government is ready to do its part to ensure better access to affordable, reliable and secure clean energy right across the Indo Pacific.

“Our work, here and now, will determine the quality of life for future generations,” Mr Albanese said.

“It won’t be easy.

“Each step will bring its own challenges and we will need to learn and adjust our approach as science advances and technology evolves.

“But I have no doubt that if we work tirelessly in common effort, we will achieve our common purpose.”

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