In a bid to meet its target of zero emissions by 2050, Australia has come up with decarbonizing actions ranging from adopting electric vehicles to developing ethanol facilities to support the chemical industry, encouraging renewable refineries for the growth of biofuels. Furthermore, the country plans to increase its carbon capture and storage projects and develop low-carbon hydrogen markets across all industries, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.


On the power side, Australia is expecting a gradual increase in both renewable energy capacity and generation. Specifically, solar and wind energy, shaping a low carbon power scenario for 2050. For example, in 2020, power capacity was dominated by thermal power with over 40% share with coal thermal power dominating the segment, as opposed to approximately 29% in 2030. Furthermore, in 2020, over 70% of power generation came from thermal power, with coal dominating once again. This is to reduce by just over half by 2030.

Tosin Coker, Upstream Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Even though the country does not have a specific coal-phase-out policy, more plants are being decommissioned. This trend is to continue over the next decade, and thus the emissions from the thermal power sector will reduce gradually. As part of its strategy to reduce emission from thermal sources, the country currently has two renewable refineries in the works, one of which aims to produce 500,000 tonnes/annum of renewable fuels.”

Working Towards Emissions Goal in Australia

Other movements include carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen. CCS is critical for transitioning into a low-carbon future and thus achieving the net-zero goal. Australia has agreed to invest around $300 million towards CCUS projects over the next ten years. Currently, there is one active CCS project: the Gorgon Carbon dioxide Injection project. It’s the largest in the world, and one under construction-FID was taken last year; the Moomba CCS project.

The growth of renewable hydrogen can help the country reach its goal of zero emissions. The development of this market has been accelerating due to the support of policies and projects. The outlook for the Australian power market promises significant growth in renewable hydrogen. For instance, reaching up to 8 million tonnes/annum by 2030. Australia is one of the top three exporters of hydrogen in the APAC region. The country is also looking forward to continuing this trend within low-carbon hydrogen. That’s because it accounts for approximately 20% of the total global capacity.

Coker adds: “Australia is making a number of steps to meet the zero-emissions target, and as a result, the growth of renewable energy in the country is on the rise. However, lack of early policies, strategies, and incentives have caused a delay in adopting electric vehicles and renewable fuels.”

Encouraging the use of clean hydrogen is one of Australia’s main goals. It aligns with the vision of zero-emission by 2050. Hydrogen has become an energy transition technology flagship, with increased interest across multiple sectors. The national and regional strategies, roadmap, and incentives are helping to pave the way for more hydrogen technology investments. Not to mention deployment in the different sectors.

Coker concludes:

“Based on the trends and regional policies in place, Australia is on track with certain sectors, such as the power and hydrogen sector, but may struggle with other sectors such as electric vehicles, renewable fuels, and CCS/CCU projects. To overcome this, the Australian federal government needs to provide specific policies and active projects to meet their 2050 target.”

Source: Global Data Press Release

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