Australia and US join forces on path to net zero

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US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm and Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen this week signed the Australia-United States Net Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership at the Sydney Energy Forum.

This is a formal partnership to accelerate the development and deployment of zero emissions technology, and cooperate on critical minerals supply chains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while supercharging economic growth.

“The Australia-US Net Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership reflects our nations’ joint commitment to grow our energy capacity and obtain the full advantages of affordable, diverse and secure clean energy,” Granholm said.

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“With today’s partnership, our two countries will work together to unlock critical advances in long-duration storage, grid integration, clean hydrogen, direct air capture, and critical minerals and materials—providing an essential opportunity to export the innovations that will accelerate the global clean energy transition.”

“This partnership is a huge milestone in ramping up the US and Australia’s shared commitment to ambitious climate action and energy security,” Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said.

“It prioritises not just development but deployment of the critical technologies that will underpin economic opportunity in the energy transformation of our two countries.”

A joint release from the two countries stated, “Reducing emissions while growing our economies and jobs is a challenge and opportunity that requires global effort. The current threats to global energy markets and energy security make international cooperation even more important. The partnership is the first step in delivering on the government’s commitment to make climate change a centrepiece of the US alliance. It reinforces our shared commitment to urgent action to deliver on ambitious 2030 targets and reach net zero by 2050.

“The partnership will build on long-standing cooperation between our two countries, which share many of the same challenges in decarbonising our economies. Co-operation will be practical, inclusive of industry, research and private sector to drive investment, trade, and development of commercial opportunities between our countries in low and zero emissions technologies and critical material that will drive them.”

Initial areas for cooperation under the partnership include the development of long duration energy storage technology, as well as digital electricity grids and technology to support the integration of variable renewable energy, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide removal, including direct air capture.

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The partnership recognises the crucial role more diversified sources of critical minerals will play in the energy transition, extending cooperation to building supply chains integral to the deployment of clean energy technologies.

The partnership was signed on the same day as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Commonwealth Scientific, Research, and Industry Organisation (CSIRO) and the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at the Sydney Energy Forum. The MoU is an example of the increasing cooperation between Australia and the United States to develop clean energy technologies. 

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