Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, has outlined his plan for a technology roadmap to reduce emissions in a recent keynote speech.
Mr Taylor addressed the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) to highlight the importance of investing in energy technology to reduce emissions as well as the role of natural gas in the transition to a lower-carbon economy.
“Our strategy will be based on a series of detailed pieces of work that we will complete over the rest of this year – much of which has already been done and the National Hydrogen Strategy that Dr Alan Finkel led is a good example of that work,” Mr Taylor said in his speech.
“Fundamentally this will take time and it must include key stakeholders from across industry and across the economy to be involved.
“That work will need to evaluate, prioritise and progress technologies to full commerciality and deployment as quickly as possible, without massive government subsidies once full scale deployment is viable.”
“Technology offers the best prospect of maintaining and even strengthening our position as an energy export leader, while supporting reductions in global emissions.”
Mr Taylor’s roadmap centres on a long-term “bottom up” strategy to move high technology projects to commercial status as quickly as possible in order to firm up the path to a sustainable energy future.
Mr Taylor reinforced the importance of natural gas in the future energy mix, which also will include hydrogen, batteries and carbon capture and storage to complement renewable energy.
APPEA Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, said Mr Taylor was right to highlight the role natural gas can play in delivering stable sustainable energy, domestically and globally.
“Reducing global emissions is a global effort, and Australia is doing its part through many channels, including our LNG exports which can substitute gas for more emissions-intensive fuels,” Mr McConville said.
“Natural gas is enabling the shift to renewables and will continue to do so for decades.”
Climate Councillor and former head of BP Australasia, Greg Bourne, said the technology road map would put the interests of fossil fuel companies ahead of the interests of Australians.
“This technology roadmap is Mr Taylor’s way of delaying serious action on climate change, leaving credible emissions reductions to his eventual replacement,” Mr Bourne said.
“Carbon Capture and Storage is incredibly expensive. It is not a climate solution, but an attempt to prolong the role of fossil fuels in the energy system. Hydrogen produced using renewables is a good idea, but the Government has hinted it will use fossil fuels to make hydrogen.
“Australia has the solutions to drive down greenhouse gas emissions. We must stop propping up the fossil fuel industry and we must instead accelerate the transition to renewables and storage.”
Mr Taylor said that the first step in developing the roadmap will be the consultation paper that will be released in the near future to engage with industry and stakeholders more generally.
Mr Taylor said the paper has been developed from six months of initial work by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the CSIRO and other Government agencies.
The Technology Investment Roadmap will be overseen by a Ministerial Reference Group, chaired by Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, and composed of industry, investment, Government and research leaders.