Australia late to the game – we must play catch up if we want to be a renewable superpower Posted on May 7, 2023May 6, 2023 Extend the RET: Wind industry giants call for reboot of federal renewables incentive Rachel Williamson 4 May 2023 Renew Economy Wind industry advocates are calling for a clean energy masterplan and an extension to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) in the upcoming Budget. Australia is currently installing about 3 gigawatts (GW) of rooftop and a similar volume of large scale wind and solar, but needs to double those numbers if it wants to achieve the government’s 82 per cent renewable energy target in 2030, says Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton. One way to do this will be to extending the RET past 2030, he says. “Extending it beyond 2030 would be simple, it would be fast and the cost associated with this extension would be far outweighed by the lower energy prices that we know would follow,” he said during the Wind Industry Summit today. An extension could also resolve the issue of demand for Large Scale Generation (LGC) certificates, prices for which have held steady or increased despite the end of the scheme, says Acciona general manager Brett Wickham. He says “something” needs to be done with LGCs after 2030 to drive emissions targets as demand for the certificates is still solid. It could also to drive the industry to install the physical capacity required to meet Australia’s 82 per cent target. “We want mechanisms that drive he right decision making,” he says. Thornton is also calling on the federal government to launch its own version of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which is set to unleash $US500 billion in government funding for US clean energy technologies and trillions in overall investment. “This is industrial policy the likes of which we’ve never seen before… It’s great for the global decarbonisation agenda. It’s exactly what we need,” he said. But Australia is losing the renewable energy race — the IRA means the US is now a magnet for capital, workers and technology. “To add to our woes Europe and many other countries around the world are following suit… Australia must act swiftly and strongly. A clean energy superpower masterplan is critical,” Thornton said. Australia entering hotly competitive field Offshore wind is the up-and-coming technology that is underpinning many of the renewable energy masterplans around the world. The UK is committed to 50 GW by 2030 and 100 GW by 2050. Europe wants to installs 300 GW by 2050. The US is planning for 30 GW by 2030. And China, now the largest offshore wind market, is committed to 60 GW by 2025. Victoria will host the first offshore wind farm in Australia, the Star of the South project in 2028, but NSW plans to be not far behind. Victoria’s Labor Andrews government last year set a target to achieve 2GW of offshore wind capacity by 2032, 4GW by 2035, and 9GW by 2040 – equivalent to six Yallourn coal-fired power stations. Last month, Victorian energy minister Lilly D’Ambrosio announced government support for transmission upgrades in the state to support offshore wind, including building hubs 15km inland from the shore that enable 2-2.5 GW of capacity in each area. She says the government has chosen the Port of Hastings as the preferred port for offshore terminals. Corio Generation development director Penny Pickett says Victoria’s offshore wind target and the federal legislation are good, but Australia is entering a hotly competitive global market, with skills shortages front of mind. She says Australia needs to be ambitious with its targets in order to be an attractive location for developers and investors. Rachel Williamson Rachel Williamson is a science and business journalist, who focuses on climate change-related health and environmental issues. China has become a green energy superpower. These 5 charts show how Jun 25, 2016 World Economic Forum Investment in green energy is on the rise, and a world powered entirely by renewables is no longer a distant dream, with a handful of countries hitting 100% renewable electricity production. But while Portugal ran on renewable energy alone for four days and clean energy accounted for 33% of Germany’s power use in 2015, it is developing countries, and China in particular, driving this green revolution. And these charts, from the REN21 Renewables 2016 Global Status report and the United Nations Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 report, show how China is paving the way to a clean energy future. 1. China has the highest capacity for renewable energy production China has the highest capacity for production of renewable energy Image: Ren21 This chart shows the leading role China is already playing in the green revolution. It currently makes up about a quarter of the global capacity for renewable power, predominantly through wind power. 2. China takes the lead in wind power production China takes the lead in wind power production Image: Ren21 China is also the country with the most wind power capacity, and its lead over the US, in second place, increased by over 30 gigawatts in 2015. 3. Solar power is booming in China China is a global leader in renewable energy production from sun Image: Ren21 The year 2015 saw huge growth in China’s solar power production. It moved into first place, ahead of previous solar leader Germany. 4. China is the biggest investor in renewable energy China is the biggest investor in renewable energy In 2015, China had the biggest financial commitment to renewable energy, investing over $100 billion, an increase from $3 billion just over 10 years ago. 5. China helped push developing countries into the lead China helped push developing countries into the lead with respect to investments in renewable energy Globally, $286 billion was invested in renewable power and fuels (not including hydro power) in 2015, and for the first time the developing world invested more than developed countries. Renewable hydrogen could fuel Australia’s next export boom after CSIRO breakthrough By Rebecca Turner Posted Thu 11 May 2017 Australia’s next big export industry could be its sunlight and wind, as game-changing technology makes it easier to transport and deliver their energy as hydrogen. Industry players are even talking up renewable hydrogen as the next liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, which could supply hydrogen to power cars, buses, trucks and trains in Japan, South Korea and even Europe. Their plans have been given a boost by a CSIRO-developed metal membrane, which allows the high-purity hydrogen, needed for hydrogen-powered cars, to be separated from ammonia. CSIRO principal research scientist Michael Dolan said the technology, now being trialled on an industrial scale in Australia, was “the missing link” that allowed hydrogen to be transported and used as an energy source. “One of the great problems with hydrogen is that it’s difficult to transport over long distances because it has such a low density,” he told ABC News. “Ammonia is a very nice way of transporting hydrogen from point A to point B — be it from Australia to Japan, for example — because it actually has a higher hydrogen density than liquid hydrogen.” The technology the CSIRO has developed can then be applied at the point of use, converting ammonia back into hydrogen for use in transport fleets. Dr Dolan said the technology had the potential to turn Australia into a renewable energy superpower. “Hydrogen is the ultimate clean fuel. The only emission arising in the use of hydrogen is water. You can also manufacturer hydrogen completely renewably,” he said. While there are only four hydrogen cars in Australia — produced by Hyundai and Toyota — South Korea already has hydrogen-powered taxis on its streets. “There’s potentially a very big market for the technology, given these cars are starting to get onto the road in pretty big numbers in Asia and Europe,” Dr Dolan said. In Japan, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be a showcase of its dream of becoming a “hydrogen society”, as it shifts away from nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. While a long way behind these countries, Australian governments are beginning to actively embrace the potential of hydrogen as a clean alternative fuel source — and export industry. How renewable hydrogen is produced.(Supplied: Renewable Hydrogen) South Australia, for example, is looking to invest in hydrogen projects via a $150 million clean energy fund as it tries to secure its energy supplies. The ACT Government announced last year it would spend $180 million on hydrogen projects, including a fleet of cars and a refuelling station. It comes as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency recently made the exporting of renewable energy such as hydrogen one of its top priorities for $800 million of investment. Companies line up for hydrogen One of the key players in the industry is Andrew Want, the managing director of Renewable Hydrogen — a company involved in projects in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. Describing the industry as bottling and shipping sunlight on an industrial scale, Mr Want said renewable hydrogen was at a similar stage as LNG in the 1970s, when technology allowed natural gas to be liquefied and transported. “We genuinely have another LNG industry on our hands, exporting energy,” he said. Mr Want said a renewable hydrogen export industry was nearing commercial viability, with the CSIRO technology an important development. https://voteearthnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/ImmensePhysicalFurseal.mp4 CSIRO-developed membrane extracts hydrogen from ammonia(Gfycat) “What the CSIRO technology is on the cusp of achieving is using renewable ammonia as a very efficient way to transport hydrogen — and that’s a game-changer,” he said. “It means Korea, Japan, the whole of South-East Asia can now import Australian renewable energy in the form of renewable hydrogen. “Using the CSIRO technology, they can ‘crack’ the hydrogen back out and run transport vehicles on it, zero carbon.” One company investigating the potential is Norwegian company Yara, which exports ammonia from its production plant in WA’s Pilbara. Yara is working towards a trial involving a 2.5MW solar array to power its electrolysis process, with the possibility of eventually fuelling its entire operations using the region’s abundant sunlight. The local Mayor, Peter Long from the City of Karratha, is a champion of the industry in a region well-placed to capitalise on its abundant sunlight, export facilities and gas infrastructure. “It’s totally renewable, [could provide] jobs forever and we can actually export the hydrogen gas overseas to Japan,” he said. Tomorrow’s “hydrogen society” may still be a dream — but the Pilbara and Australia appear to be well-placed to play a key role.