Investment on the rise for cleaner energy technologies
Investment in clean energy has jumped in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency.
According to the IEA’s Sustainable Recovery Tracker, global spending commitments have jumped to US$710 billion, 40 per cent higher than spending after the global financial crisis in 2008.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol said the increased spending was helping the global pathway to net-zero emissions, however, emerging and developing economies were falling behind.
“Countries, where clean energy is at the heart of recovery plans, are keeping alive the possibility of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, but challenging financial and economic conditions have undermined public resources in much of the rest of the world,” Mr Fatih said.
“International cooperation will be essential to change these clean energy investment trends, especially in emerging and developing economies where the need is greatest.
“Governments who can remove red tape and quickly set up effective programs will be the ones to reap the benefits and position themselves in the new global energy economy that is emerging.”
According to the IEA report, government spending that had been earmarked prior to 2024 was estimated to support more than US$1.6 trillion in sustainable investments through high levels of private sector participation.
At the IEA’s Ministerial meeting held in March, Federal Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said secure, reliable, and affordable energy needed to remain central to any low emissions pathway while discussing Australia’s technology-led approach to reducing emissions.
“Bringing down the cost of low emissions technologies, until they reach cost parity with existing energy sources, is the critical path forward,” Mr Taylor said.
“While ambition is a first step towards decarbonisation, practical outcomes and achievement is what ultimately counts in the long run.”
He said that Australia would continue to work with other countries to break down the barriers to global reductions to accelerate the deployment of low-emissions technologies and to realise the shared ambition of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
The State Government introduced the Greenhouse Gas Storage and Transport Bill in March, with the aim of providing the mining, LNG, and natural gas industries with access to opportunities to decarbonise.
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association WA director Claire Wilkinson said the legislative amendments would allow carbon capture, utilisation and storage to be used in WA.
CCS was a key technology to decarbonise the resources industry and the broader WA economy.
“Providing regulatory certainty in this area will not only reduce emissions, but also give businesses confidence to invest, create jobs and grow the economy,” Ms Wilkinson said.
She said the oil and gas industry was committed to net zero emissions by 2050, and that billions of dollars had been invested by the sector in cleaner energy technologies.
“Our technological expertise, deep knowledge of WA’s subsurface environment and our commitment to reducing emissions provide us with an advantage to deliver more CCS as well as ultimately support a new hydrogen industry with this process.”