Australia Should Lead the Energy Revolution

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Australia should lead the energy revolution with our abundance of natural resources and steer away from ‘digging and shipping’ to ‘adding value.’ Australia is in a prime position to lead the charge with renewable and green energy initiatives, with the help of the manufacturing industry.

The misconception that the manufacturing industry in Australia is ‘past saving’ is grounded on a lack of understanding. The industry is combined of highly-skilled, highly paid, resilient and diverse jobs. The industry is at the forefront of technological innovations impacting our society each day.

Australia’s modern-day manufacturers are driven by designers, engineers, and researchers who are just as much ‘white collar’ as they are ‘blue collar’.

However, we are not utilising these skills in the areas that will be most beneficial to Australia’s sovereignty internationally. Australia has the research, capabilities and resources to lead the energy revolution.

Our onshore efforts to date are something to be proud of;

  • Wind overtook hydro as Australia’s leading clean energy source in 2019, accounting for more than 35 per cent
  • In 2019, renewable energy was responsible for 24 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation
  • There were 287,504 rooftop solar installations in 2019
  • In Queensland almost 40 per cent of suitable homes have rooftop solar panels
  • 70 per cent of South Australia’s power comes from renewable sources
  • In 2017, renewable energy sources provided around 16% of the state’s total electricity generation, of which, Snowy Hydro accounted for almost 6%
  • 2019 was a huge year for the emerging renewable hydrogen industry, with $370 million in funding allocated under the National Hydrogen Strategy

However, while it’s good news, we urgently need more investment to remove bottlenecks in deployment of further renewables. 

“Now is the time to plan to accelerate renewable deployment and electrification to decarbonise the entire economy.” ANU Energy Change Institute Professor Ken Baldwin stated.

We should not fall into the trap of thinking we must make everything onshore; we should concentrate on areas where we do very well and do more of that. 

Australia’s manufacturing industry covers design, logistics, production, distribution, sales and services. As a result, Australia continues to lead the world in the per capita roll out of energy generated by solar and wind, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and falling electricity prices, according to a new analysis from The Australian National University (ANU). 

Australia needs to continue to ramp up the deployment of renewable and green energy initiatives to stay at the forefront of the energy revolution. If we lag behind, Australia is missing a significant opportunity to continue to grow a resilient, globally competitive, and vibrant onshore capability.

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