Government to invest in reliable, affordable energy to reduce emissions and boost jobs

The federal government has pledged more than $1.8 billion in the 2021-22 Budget to boost jobs, reduce emissions and support affordable and reliable energy. 

“Our 2021-22 Budget measures will provide reliable, secure and affordable energy to all Australians and increase investment in technology solutions to reduce emissions in a way that supports jobs and economic growth,” Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said. 

“These initiatives will secure Australia’s recovery while also bolstering our position as a leader in the development of low emissions technologies, which are vital to achieving net zero emissions globally. 

Australia is focused on investing in commercialising technologies, not harmful taxes, in the global effort to reduce emissions. Our 2021-22 Budget measures continue this approach, while strengthening our energy security and supporting the growth of new industries and jobs into the future,” Taylor said. 

Electricity 

Initiatives for electricity in 2021-22 include: 

  • Assist new gas generators in becoming hydrogen-ready
  • Early works on Australian Industrial Power’s (AIP) Port Kembla gas generator project
  • Support for a big battery and the roll-out of microgrids in remote Indigenous communities, as part of a future Northern Territory Commonwealth bilateral agreement on energy and emissions reduction 
  • Secure the Portland aluminium smelter’s participation in the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader scheme
  • Support the deployment of a renewable energy microgrid incorporating hydrogen in Daintree in Northern Queensland
  • Implement the government’s consumer-focused reform agenda and expand the role of the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner to resolve transmission line concerns in communities. 

Gas 

For gas, the government’s latest initiatives are: 

  • Support critical gas infrastructure projects to alleviate the forecast gas supply shortfalls 
  • Deliver the National Gas Infrastructure Plan 
  • Design, consult and implement reforms to accelerate the development of the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub
  • Develop initiatives that empower gas reliant businesses to negotiate competitive outcomes in gas supply agreements
  • Design and implement a framework to facilitate Commonwealth support for medium to long-term gas infrastructure and secure Australia’s future gas supply. 

Fuel Security 

To further strengthen long-term fuel security, the government will set out measures including: 

  • A refinery production payment to help maintain Australia’s refining capability
  • Support to assist the refiners to conduct infrastructure upgrades, subject to consultation with industry
  • The establishment of a new fuel security framework, for the implementation and monitoring of the minimum stockholding obligation and the production payment, ensuring industry complies. 

Emissions Reduction 

Under the Technology Investment Roadmap, the Budget will support new and emerging low-emissions technologies: 

  • Co-funding research and demonstration projects and developing a carbon offset scheme in the Indo-Pacific region to back low emissions international technology partnerships and initiatives
  • Accelerate the development of four additional clean hydrogen export hubs
  • Support the development of carbon capture technologies and hubs
  • Support a National Soil Carbon Innovation Challenge and trial new agricultural feed technologies that reduce emissions from livestock
  • Establish the below baseline crediting mechanism recommended by the King Review, to support large industrial facilities and reduce energy consumption and emissions while improving productivity and international competitiveness
  • Help Australian businesses and supply chains to reduce energy costs through more energy efficient industrial equipment and business practices
  • Establish a $50 million venture capital financing function within the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support Australian clean tech innovation
  • Expand the range of certifications offered by the Government’s Climate Active program and ensure it remains a best practice standard and certification scheme for businesses looking to voluntarily reduce emissions
  • Reduce costs and streamline the reporting requirements for businesses covered by the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme 

“Our investments in emissions reduction, energy, gas and fuel security will create more than 9,000 jobs across the country, grow our economy and ensure Australia continues to meet and beat our emissions reduction targets, Taylor said.