October 13, 2020 Read More →

Australian manufacturing poised to be big beneficiary of renewables


Manufacturing is key to our economy and allows Australia to live more within its local means. The decentralisation megatrend supports local manufacturing and increasingly allows us to power efficient local operations with indigenous clean energy.

Our manufacturing industry ensures a degree of national self-sufficiency and in the past was often based on our local advantages, including cheap energy. However cheap energy alone doesn’t confer a continuing advantage. Competitors with higher-cost energy tend to be more efficient with it.

Work GE carried out with Vivid Economics and Norton Rose in 2011 showed Australian manufacturing was less energy productive than ten major competitor nations, and I’m not sure that position has materially changed since.

While we had cheap energy, our total energy bills were similar to overseas competitors. And our cheap energy was much more carbon-intense than competing economies, so our products were susceptible to a future carbon price.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) says “Australia has the potential to become a much more significant economic power in a decarbonised world”, particularly with the conversion of existing aluminium smelters to renewable electricity. Climateworks shows how technologies in each sector can achieve climate goals while rebuilding a resilient economy and recently launched the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative working with Climate-KIC Australia. 

[Ben Waters]

More: The Surge to Renewables Promises Cheaper Power for Manufacturing

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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