Taylor announces shift away from wind and solar investment

g20, coal, electricity, Angus Taylor
AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has announced the Morrison Government will signal plans to shift investment from wind and solar to hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, lithium and advanced livestock feed supplements.

The Technology Investment Roadmap is a “bottom up” strategy to reduce emissions by 2050, taking a ‘technology-based long-term emissions reduction strategy’ to the UN climate talks in Glasgow later this year.

It’s here that more details of the plan will be revealed, but it has been announced that Dr Alan Finkel will chair the roadmap’s ‘Ministerial Reference Group’.

The Australian Hydrogen Council has welcomed the plans to channel future investment to hydrogen as part of an emissions reduction strategy, but warns the time to act is now.

“Australians have reaped the benefits of the last decade of wind and solar investments, but we know that the ‘hero’ hydrogen is crucial for Australia’s future energy and storage mix,” Australian Hydrogen Council CEO Dr Fiona Simon says.

Related article: Key power learnings from bushfire season

“Developing hydrogen as part of the long-term energy mix can have enormous payback for Australians. Clean hydrogen allows Australia to reduce our carbon emissions.

“Large scale hydrogen production will mean new jobs and a major new export market. 

“We hope that the Technology Investment Roadmap can support and help drive the work being done by governments and industry to progress the technologies necessary to get the industry to scale.”

On the other hand, The Australia Institute has condemned the plan.

Australia Institute energy program director Richie Merzian said, “It is disappointing the Government intends to continue using unsuccessful technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage as a smokescreen for the expansion of high-polluting fossil fuel production in Australia.

Related article:CEC calls on Federal Government for ARENA funding

“The Minister has claimed an indicator of the success of a technology is private sector interest alongside government investment. By this definition, using Carbon Capture and Storage to generate clean coal has been extremely unsuccessful. $1.3 billion in government investment has not delivered a single commercial CCS facility for coal.

“Any technology roadmap to address climate change should be limited to zero emission technologies, such as making ‘green hydrogen’ using water and renewable energy.”

Taylor has long been opposed to wind farms, speaking at anti-wind rallies saying they divide communities.