How to make net zero happen – a report from Net Zero Australia

On 12 July 2023, Net Zero Australia published How to make net zero happen, Mobilisation report building upon six modelled scenarios where Australia achieves net zero by 2050. The report’s message is clear: the scale of Australia’s decarbonisation challenge is so large that simultaneously progressing multiple carbon reduction pathways is a requirement, not an option.

According to the report, Australia needs a workforce seven times larger than what is currently available to achieve net zero by 2050. Net Zero Australia recommends that all industry, government, and educational institutions develop and implement measures to ensure the next generation of skilled workers can be deployed before 2030. 

Currently, the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project’s consortia, Japan Suiso Energy (JSE) and the J-Power and Sumitomo Corporation Joint Venture (JPSC JV) are discussing education and career pathways into the clean hydrogen sector with further education and training providers.

The report also outlines the challenge of a just and equitable economic transition, considering tens of thousands of households rely on the fossil fuel industry as their main source of income. A big task ahead for industry and government is to re-train and upskill these workers, to support the community’s transition as power station closures continue.

In Gippsland’s Latrobe Valley, the JPSC JV will produce clean hydrogen through extraction from the local coal resource, combined with carbon capture, utilisation, and storage. Supported by a AU$2.1 billion commitment from the Japanese government, JSE will develop Australia’s first commercial hydrogen liquefaction and loading facility at the Port of Hastings.  This innovative technology could also be used by other clean hydrogen producers for export to international markets.

Notably, all six net-zero scenarios identified in the Mobilisation report highlight the importance of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage technology to support decarbonisation and optimise clean energy export opportunities.

The J-Power and Sumitomo Corporation joint venture has two promising options in Gippsland for carbon storage:  CarbonNet’s Bass Strait Project and the depleted oil and gas reservoirs of Exxon’s affiliated Gippsland Basin Joint Venture CCS Hub.

To read the full Net Zero Australia report, click here.

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