Illawarra Newsroom

PM visits Port Kembla and announces huge investment in new energy technologies

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has toured Blue Scope's Port Kembla plant this morning and made a major announcement about Federal invetsment in new and emerging technologies, the government hopes will support jobs, strengthen the economy and reduce emissions.

Scott Morrison said the $1.9 billion investment package in future technologies to lower emissions would back jobs now and into the future, cut costs for households and improve the reliability of our energy supply.

The PM said the Government is supporting the next generation of energy technologies with an extra $1.62 billion for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to invest, as well as expanding the focus of ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to back new technologies that will cut emissions in agriculture, manufacturing, industry and transport.

"Our JobMaker plan is about protecting and creating the jobs of today and positioning Australia for the jobs of the future, which is why our investment in new technologies is so crucial.

"Australia is in the midst of a world-leading boom in renewable energy with over $30 billion invested since 2017.

"Solar panels and wind farms are now clearly commercially viable and have graduated from the need for government subsidies and the market has stepped up to invest," he said.

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"The Government will now focus its efforts on the next challenge: unlocking new technologies across the economy to help drive down costs, create jobs, improve reliability and reduce emissions," the Prime Minister said.

"This will support our traditional industries – manufacturing, agriculture, transport – while positioning our economy for the future.

"These investments create jobs and they bring new technologies into play.

"This will not only cut emissions, but deliver the reliable energy Australia needs while driving down prices for homes and businesses," the Prime Minister said.

The new package also invests in a range of promising low-emissions, reliable new technology advancements including:
·         Supporting businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport sectors to adopt technologies that increase productivity and reduce emissions through a new            $95.4 million Technology Co-Investment Fund that was recommended by the King Review
·         Piloting carbon capture projects that will dramatically help cut emissions with a $50 million investment in the Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund
·         Helping businesses and regional communities take advantage of opportunities offered by hydrogen, electric, and bio-fuelled vehicles with a new $74.5 million Future Fuels Fund
·         Setting up a hydrogen export hub worth $70.2 million to scale-up demand and take advantage of the advancements in this low emissions, high powered source of energy
·         Backing new microgrids in regional and remote communities to deliver affordable, reliable power with $67 million
·         Contributing $52.2 million to increase the energy productivity of homes and businesses, including a sector specific grant program for hotels supporting equipment and facilities upgrades
·         Slashing the time taken to develop new Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) methods from 24 months or more to less than 12 months, involving industry in a co-design process and implementing other recommendations from the King Review into the ERF, worth $24.6 million
·         Boosting energy and emissions data and cyber-security reporting and supporting the delivery of future Low Emissions Technology Statements under the Technology          Investment Roadmap process, as well as developing an offshore clean energy project development framework, together worth $40.2 million

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said getting the next generation of energy technologies right would not only help to keep prices low and the lights on, but would importantly grow jobs, strengthen the economy and reduce emissions.

"We will reduce the cost of new and emerging technologies, not raise the cost of existing technologies or layer in new costs to consumers and businesses through mandated targets or subsidies.

"The Government recognises the strong growth in emerging energy technologies that will play a role in Australia’s energy mix into the future. We need to get the balance right and our investment to re-energise ARENA will deliver that," Minister Taylor said.

The Government will provide ARENA with guaranteed baseline funding of $1.43 billion over 10 years. 

Images: ScoMo FB and 9 News Illawarra