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Technology roadmap, EV strategies supported by AAA
Government finds alternative fuels reduces emissions, supplement future energy needs
21 May 2020
By NEIL DOWLING
A FEDERAL government discussion paper on Australia’s future power needs and emission reduction plans has outlined “enormous” potential in hydrogen, biofuels, gas and even emerging nuclear technologies.
The Technology Investment Roadmap, which is open for public discussion until June 21 before government goals are published in September, examined more than 140 energy-related technologies including fuel sources and carbon capture and storage.
The roadmap is designed to identify energy priorities and emission reduction needs in three periods – 2022, 2030 and 2050.
Australia’s peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), said the roadmap’s goal of accelerating low emission technologies was right by focusing on balancing the protection of consumer choice with the protection of the environment.
AAA managing director Michael Bradley said motorists would welcome public consultation on the paper.
“The roadmap provides a concise report card on the status of technologies in the transport sector and realistically identifies those areas where Australia can be a technology leader or a technology taker, as we all play our role to reduce emissions,” he said.
“The AAA also looks forward to the release of the forthcoming National Electric Vehicle Strategy that has been flagged in the roadmap and how it will address ongoing concerns to ensure refuelling/recharging infrastructure keeps pace with the growth of electric vehicles, and potentially fuel-cell vehicles.”
According to The Guardiannewspaper, the discussion paper said an EV future was restrained by Australia’s “slow turnover” of its light-vehicle fleet and that previous estimates of EVs making up 25-50 per cent of new-car sales by 2030 may not be reached.
In releasing the paper today, federal minister for energy and emissions reduction Angus Taylor said while solar and wind were the cheapest forms of generation, “reliability was still an issue and gas would play an important part in ‘balancing’ renewable energy sources”.
The discussion paper said: “Flexible gas capacity will continue to play a crucial role in supporting variable renewable energy, alongside continuing growth in energy storage, demand management and innovative grid technologies as alternatives.”
“As the world’s largest LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporter, all of these factors will have implications for Australia's domestic gas market and export opportunities over the long term.”
It also said Australia was well placed to develop a major hydrogen export sector and reinforced a previously announced goal of producing it at below $2 per kilogram, the point at which it said it would become competitive.
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