Further advancement in clean energy technology is needed to reach net-zero targets, according to the latest International Panel on Climate Control (IPCC) report.
The report said that low-carbon electricity generation and storage technologies had made rapid progress in reducing cost, scaling up deployment and improving performance.
“The decarbonisation of most industrial processes has been demonstrated using technologies that include electricity and hydrogen for energy and feedstocks, carbon capture and utilisation technologies, and innovation in circular material flows,” the report said.
“A fast global low-carbon energy transition enabled by finance to facilitate low-carbon technology adoption in developing and particularly in least developed countries can facilitate achieving climate stabilisation targets.
“The magnitude of the scale-up challenge elevates the importance of rapid technology development and adoption.”
The report said that limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees would require the decommissioning and reduced use of existing fossil fuel installations in the power sector, but recognised it would strand fossil-related assets, with the potential global economic impacts amounting to trillions of dollars.
It said that deliberate effort would be required to ensure communities dependent on fossil fuel-based economies and industries did not suffer disproportionately.
“Carbon capture and storage can allow fossil fuels to be used longer, reducing potential stranded assets,” the report said.
“100% renewable energy systems would likely need to include alternative fuels such as hydrogen or biofuels.”
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief executive officer Andrew McConville said the flexibility of gas in stabilising renewables, replacing coal, and as a feedstock for hydrogen gave it a strong future.
“The IPCC confirms that the technologies we specialise in, proven and viable methods like CCS and hydrogen production, are needed to decarbonise because they allow for significant emissions reductions and reduced stranded asset risk,” Mr McConville said.
“This is why our industry is already acting. We understand the global challenge and how we can help solve it. Our members have already spent over $5 billion on measures like CCS and hydrogen production to decarbonise and reduce methane emissions.
“Gas will continue to be a part of the future cleaner energy mix as a cleaner alternative that complements so many of the pathways to net-zero by 2050.”
The State Government aimed to support clean energy projects and technologies through its Clean Energy Future Fund (CEFF).
The second round of the fund awarded $11 million across seven regional projects to support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Environment Minister Reece Whitby said the seven projects would test critical low-carbon technologies, reduce carbon emissions, and create jobs across the State.
“The high level of interest and the quality of proposals submitted to the second round of the Clean Energy Future Fund demonstrates a strong and innovative clean energy industry developing in WA,” Mr Whitby said.
“These seven projects… will support WA to achieve our target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
Strike Energy was awarded $2 million for its planned test of the geothermal potential of the Mid-West Geothermal Power Project.
Strike managing director and chief executive officer Stuart Nicholls said it was an opportunity for Strike to use its existing core capabilities to drive its renewable energy into its vertically integrated strategy.
“The Mid-West Geothermal Power Project is unique in that it may provide 24/7 dispatchable power which can drive lower carbon outcomes across Strike’s existing portfolio of projects and potentially more broadly across the State,” he said.