The Bulletin


News

Government targets emerging technologies with $1.9 billion, saying renewables can stand on own feet

  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

The government has unveiled a $1.9 billion package of investments in new and emerging technologies, and reinforced its message that it is time to move on from assisting now commercially-viable renewables.

The package will be controversial, given its planned broadening of the remit of the government’s clean energy investment vehicles, currently focused on renewables, and the attention given to carbon capture and storage, which has many critics.

The latest announcement follows the “gas-fired recovery” energy plan earlier this week, which included the threat the government would build its own gas-fired power station if the electricity sector failed to fill the gap left by the scheduled closure of the coal-fired Liddell power plant in 2023.

Read more: Morrison government threatens to use Snowy Hydro to build gas generator, as it outlines 'gas-fired recovery' plan[1]

Unveiling the latest policy, Scott Morrison said solar panels and wind farms were commercially viable “and have graduated from the need for government subsidies”.

The government was now looking to unlock new technologies “to help drive down costs, create jobs, improve reliability and reduce emissions. This will support our traditional industries – manufacturing, agriculture, transport – while positioning our economy for the future.”

An extra $1.62 billion will be provided for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to invest.

The government will expand the focus of ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to back new technologies that would reduce emissions in agriculture, manufacturing, industry and transport.

At present ARENA can only support renewable energy and the CEFC can only invest in clean energy technologies (although it can support some types of gas projects).

The changes to ARENA and the CEFC will need legislation.

The government says it will cut the time taken to develop new Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) methods from two years or more to under a year, involving industry in a co-design process.

This follows a review of the fund, which is a centrepiece of the Coalition’s emissions reduction policy. The cost of the changes is put at $24.6 million. The fund has had trouble attracting proposals from some sectors because of its complex administrative requirements.

Other measures in the policy include a new $95.4 million Technology Co-Investment Fund to support businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport sectors to take up technologies to boost productivity and reduce emissions.

A $50 million Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund will pilot carbon capture projects. This technology buries carbon but has run into many problems over the years and its opponents point to it being expensive, risky and encouraging rather than discouraging the use of fossil fuels.

Businesses and regional communities will be encouraged to use hydrogen, electric, and bio-fuelled vehicles, supported by a new $74.5 million Future Fuels Fund.

A hydrogen export hub will be set up, with $70.2 million. Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has been a strong advocate for the potential of hydrogen, saying Australia has competitive advantages as a future hydrogen exporter.

Some $67 million will back new microgrids in regional and remote communities to deliver affordable and reliable power.

There will be $52.2 million to increase the energy productivity of homes and businesses. This will include grants for hotels’ upgrades.

The government says $1.8 billion of the package is new money.

Here are the details of the package:

Read more https://theconversation.com/government-targets-emerging-technologies-with-1-9-billion-saying-renewables-can-stand-on-own-feet-146327

News Bulletin

Over 1 million mail-in ballots could be rejected in the US election — and the rules are changing by the day

In the US election next month, record-breaking numbers of voters will cast their ballots by mail for the first time. Millions of these ballots wil...

Sarah John, College of Business, Government and Law, Flinders University - avatar Sarah John, College of Business, Government and Law, Flinders University

NSW needs to prohibit religious discrimination, but not like this

It has long been a glaring problem that the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Act (ADA) does not prohibit religious discrimination.One Nation’...

Liam Elphick, Adjunct Research Fellow, Law School, University of Western Australia - avatar Liam Elphick, Adjunct Research Fellow, Law School, University of Western Australia

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's speech at The Australian E-Commerce Virtual Summit

PRIME MINISTER: Well, thank you very much, Jackson. And to Chris Dore at The Australian and Christine Holgate, who you've just been hearing from, ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Despite more than 30 major inquiries, governments still haven't fixed aged care. Why are they getting away with it?

This article is part of our series on aged care. You can read the other articles in the series here[1]. Australia’s aged care sector has been t...

Eileen Webb, Professor of Law and Ageing, UniSA: Justice and Society, University of South Australia - avatar Eileen Webb, Professor of Law and Ageing, UniSA: Justice and Society, University of South Australia

Trump has changed America by making everything about politics, and politics all about himself

On October 14, Donald Trump held a rally attended by several thousand in Iowa, despite White House guidelines that gatherings in the state should ...

David Smith, Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney - avatar David Smith, Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney

The 2020 NZ election saw record vote volatility — what does that mean for the next Labour government?

GettyImagesAs the dust begins to settle after the 2020 election, a new electoral landscape becomes visible. It is remarkably different from the one be...

Jack Vowles, Professor of Political Science, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington - avatar Jack Vowles, Professor of Political Science, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington

Morrison says he wants to run full term, and there are good reasons to believe him

We don’t have to credit Scott Morrison’s claim at Tuesday’s Coalition joint party room meeting that an election is the furthest thing from h...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

As the Queensland campaign passes the halfway mark, the election is still Labor's to lose

Glenn Hunt/ AAPWe’re at the mid-point of the Queensland election campaign. Pre-polling opened on Monday, with about two million Queenslanders ex...

Paul Williams, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Griffith University - avatar Paul Williams, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Griffith University

Over 1 million mail-in ballots could be rejected in the US election — and the rules are changing by the day

In the US election next month, record-breaking numbers of voters will cast their ballots by mail for the first time. Mill...

NSW needs to prohibit religious discrimination, but not like this

It has long been a glaring problem that the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Act (ADA) does not prohibit religious discrim...

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's speech at The Australian E-Commerce Virtual Summit

PRIME MINISTER: Well, thank you very much, Jackson. And to Chris Dore at The Australian and Christine Holgate, who you've...

Writers Wanted



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion