Federal Government releases Technology Investment Roadmap

COVID-19, technology investment roadmap

The Federal Government has today released its Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper, which reveals the government plans to invest in technologies such as hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, soil carbon sequestration, biofuels, resources and energy exports.

“Investment in low emissions technologies that strengthen our economy and support jobs and businesses are a priority of the Morrison Government on the road to recovery from COVID-19, and to help Australia reduce global emissions,” says Angus Taylor in a statement.   

While the government concedes renewables will be the most affordable energy source looking to 2020, it maintains they aren’t reliable enough at this stage.

The government is therefore looking to these developing technologies, as well as domestic gas as a stabilising factor in the energy transition.

“The Government is committed to reducing emissions without imposing new costs on households, while at the same time growing businesses and the economy,” Minister Taylor said.

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“At its core, this is about technology not taxes. It means reducing emissions, not reducing jobs and the economy. It is an approach based on rigour, confidence, optimism, and Australian ingenuity not ideology.”  

The government says it has a clear focus –  to back new and emerging technologies that will:  

  • Continue supplying the affordable and reliable energy households and industry need to support jobs and the economy;  
  • Increase the productivity of export sectors like agriculture, energy, metals and minerals processing;  
  • Allow Australia to capitalise on opportunities to develop new industries and jobs; and  
  • Position Australia to support our trading partners’ plans to reduce emissions through the export of low emissions technologies, energy and other products.  

“The Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap is about more than just reducing emissions,” Minister Taylor said. 

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“This is about developing technologies that will support jobs growth. This is about ensuring that mums and dads and small businesses are paying a fair cost for energy and not imposing taxes on them. This is about backing new industries that will help our regional communities and local economies to prosper. This is about putting Australia at the forefront of research and development, and maintaining our strong track record of reducing global emissions.”  

The Government has appointed a Ministerial Reference Panel, led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, to support the development of the first Low Emissions Technology Statement that will be published later this year.  

The Roadmap will be a cornerstone of Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy, to be released ahead of COP26.  

The Government will look to support a wide range of technologies with the potential to reduce emissions across sectors. Through the Technology Investment Roadmap process, clear goals will be set for the most important and prospective of these – as we have already done with the ‘H2 under $2’ program.  

The Government has already made substantial investments in clean energy technology, with more than $10 billion invested in more than 670 clean energy projects with a total project value in excess of $35 billion.   

To contribute to this important national conversation or learn more about the Roadmap process, visit: https://consult.industry.gov.au/climate-change/technology-investment-roadmap/

Written submissions are open until Sunday, June 21, 2020.